Madhav Khandekar

Unless I haven’t been paying attention, the mighty Madhav Khandekar’s “Questioning the Global Warming Science: An Annotated bibliography of recent peer-reviewed papers” has been met with total indifference. Until now… Its supposed (I think) to be a sort of Peiser-done-properly.

He saith: “a large number of studies questioning the GW science have appeared in peer-reviewed International scientific Journals” and “This Document presents an annotated bibliography of selected peer reviewed papers which question the current state of the GW science.” So we’d better start at the beginning, “1. Temperature reconstruction using proxy data: The Hockey-Stick Graph [ie, MBH98/99]”
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Hurricanes and AIT, again

Prompted by the proofs of my review of AIT for Met Apps (oh, the fame!) I looked at the site again and found The Science. What they list there is very thin and with no useful links. I would have hoped for something better.

Anyway, their first point is “The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled in the last 30 years.” and they source this to Emanuel, K. 2005. Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years. Nature 436: 686-688. Now E does say This combined PDI has nearly doubled over the past 30 yr, but never uses the word “category”. And this is not surprising, because it starts Theory and modelling predict that hurricane intensity should increase with increasing global mean temperatures, but work on the detection of trends in hurricane activity has focused mostly on their frequency and shows no trend. The paper is about the destructiveness index, not the number of storms. Has Gore… simply misinterpreted the paper? Found something in it my quick skim missed? Or wot?

So… anyone know a good source for hurricane numbers, and how they have changed?

[Update: OK… I think I have to largely forgive them this. Their reference is wrong (it should be Changes in Tropical Cyclone Number, Duration, and Intensity in a Warming Environment, P. J. Webster, G. J. Holland, J. A. Curry, H.-R. Chang but it does say: “hurricanes in the strongest categories (4 + 5) have almost doubled in number (50 per pentad in the 1970s to near 90 per pentad during the past decade) and in proportion (from around 20% to around 35% during the same period). These changes occur in all of the ocean basins”. Thanks to SB for pointing this out -W]

TGGWS, again

Just when you thought the Great Global Warming Swindle rubbish had died down, Bob Ward has to go and stir things up again. So it gets into the Grauniad and the Scotsman too.

Predictably enough, the scientists talk about the science; and Durkin avoids this to talk about gagging. A classic case of framing, much as I hate to admit it.

So the question is, why bother write the letter? The idea that Durkin would have said “its a fair cop guv; I’ve seen the truth and I’ll withdraw it” is absurd. What will people that read the newspaper articles get? Not, sadly, a link to the letter detailing the misrepresentations. The Grauniad does get Myles Allen saying the papably false “all this programme did was rehash debates that were had and finished in the scientific community 15 years ago.” (the MSU debate wasn’t finished 15 years ago… or even the ice core lead/lags stuff. And in 1992, the attribution debate wasn’t settled either). Note, BTW, that the letter leaves out one gross example – for the 400y T/sunspots graph, TGGWS infilled absent sunspot data during the Maunder minimum (convenient pic of that here a little way down). The comments after the Scotsman example ar a classic example of people just saying the same things again and again in total absence of facts.

At face value, all its done is garner more publicity for Durkin… and Bob Ward. Ahhhhh.

Betting on Global Warming

While I still have a possible bet in the pipeline, Brian Schmidt now has a real bet lined up for a total of $6-$9k. Personally I think that 0.15 oC/decade is more likely than not, but that less is a realistic possiblity given natural variablity. So while its good from an expected return view it could potentially be bad from a PR view. I wonder how important the latter is… probably not very, in 10 years time.

Brian has a spread of bets across 10, 15 and 20 years which is an interesting way of doing things. I’m still looking forward to making big money (a-la James 🙂 when a real market for these things developes and reselling good-odds bets for a sure fire profit becomes possible.

Framing Science

Having been away for the past two weeks i’ve missed most of the exciting “Framing Science” stuff. I feel most sympathetic to the PZ view… In that addressing your message to your audience seems fairly obvious. But I rather like this from the globalchange mailing list:

> ...how does a field of human endeavour which has at its foundation a
> profound belief in the value of reason go about addressing an audience
> which, for a variety of reasons, has a large proportion of members
> whose response to the issues is irrational and who do not value reason
> in the same way, instead apparently preferring an almost pre-rational,
> mythic narrative and its associated value system?

...I think the Pielkian (Jr) answer is to redefine the
problem in such a way that the denialists can swallow an acceptable
solution, the Mooney and Nisbet answer is to dress it up in language
that might disarm their objections, and the scientists' answer is to
wait for them to die out.

[Update: that was JA responding to FB, btw -W]

The scientists answer has worked before for other questions, but perhaps not for things that actually require policy responses.

BTW, Eli has a nice joke that is partly relevant… check the comments as well.

So how do I know if I understand the framing stuff? N+M say “In reality, citizens do not use the news media as scientists assume. Research shows that people are rarely well enough informed or motivated to weigh competing ideas and arguments” – weeeelll… I assume that citizens are thoroughly confused by the news media, as they get different incompatible stories from different sources – or even from the same source on different days. Judging from the way the media publish things, the stories are there for entertainment not enlightenment – and I assume that is what their readership wants.