I haven’t ranted about climate for a bit, so I think I will. Misc stuff follows, mostly commentary.
APS has a nice post on “The nothing that was Climategate” (though he really needs to upgrade his colour scheme; links are hard to see). [Update: or ClimateSight perhaps; or Bart]. APS has some nice referee’s quotes of his own, and links to Joe Romm. I’ll get on to JR in a moment, but first I need to comment on JR’s link to…
[We interrupt this link to bring a minor update; Nature has a completely rubbish editorial on the subject.
But RC has the correct answer. Now to return…]
Robin McKie in the Grauniad (or possibly the Observer) whose article starts This was simply “the worst scientific scandal of a generation” – a bid by researchers to hoodwink the public over global warming and hide evidence showing fossil fuels were not really heating up our planet. Which is unusally stupid even by the G’s standards, and does rather airbrush over their own contribution to puffing the non-scandal.
If you’d like a real scandal, then Deep Climate’s continuing investigation of the Wegman report will bring you one. Naturally it is too complex for the Grauniad to write about.
More neutrally, there is Climate Alarmism at Science Magazine? from a blog new to me. This is looking at the headline trend in Drought-Induced Reduction in Global Terrestrial Net Primary Production from 2000 Through 2009, which is “our estimates suggest a reduction in the global NPP of 0.55 petagrams of carbon”, from 2000 to 2009. As our blogger points out, this is quoted as just a trend, with no attempt even to assess significance. Interestingly, a quote from the piece that Staniford (for it is he) provides
Global NPP slightly decreased for the past decade by -0.55 Pg C (Fig. 1). Interannual variations of the global NPP were negatively correlated with the global atmospheric CO2 growth rates (correlation coefficient r = -0.89, p < 0.0006) (Fig. 1) (14), suggesting that global terrestrial NPP is a major driver of the interannual CO2 growth rate.
rather points up the problem: the correlation against atmos CO2 is highly significant – and that is noted, and indeed quantified. The *lack* of significance of the trend is however not even mentioned. Staniford contacted the authors and they basically said “WTF: this got into Science and it will boost our citation rankings massively”. Actaully what they said was almost worse:
Some research findings are so important that society really cannot afford to
wait another 10+yr for 95% or 99% statistical confidence. We (and I suppose Science) felt this result was one of them. And recognize that we are not advocating this result, merely reporting what we measured and why we think it is happening. I actually hope in 10-20yr that some young scientist proves we are wrong, and that NPP trends have turned back up. Humanity will be much better off if that occurs.
Anyway, enough of that silliness, onto some other silliness: A New Treasure Trove Of 1970s “Global Cooling” Articles but unfortunately they are in Italian. This is a blog by some guy who doesn’t like The myth of the 1970s global cooling scientific consensus. So, it might be a project for someone to do an honest survey of La Stampa’s collection.
But lastly I need to return to Romm, and A stunning year in climate science reveals that human civilization is on the precipice. Which rather surprised me, because I thought that rather little of scientific interest had happened, climate-wise in the past year. JR points to:
1. Nature: “Global warming blamed for 40% decline in the ocean’s phytoplankton”. Well, maybe. I hadn’t noticed that. The Nature article itself is behind a paywall, but presumably the details resolve the apparent problem of we… estimate the time dependence of phytoplankton biomass at local, regional and global scales since 1899. We observe declines in eight out of ten ocean regions, and estimate a global rate of decline of ~1% of the global median per year. Errm, if it has gone down by 1%/y for a century, why isn’t it at zero?
2. Methane from Siberian arctic shelves. But wasn’t that so 2008?
3. Droughts (future). Haven’t looked carefully.
4. Ocean acidification. Traditionally I ignore this. Maybe sometime I should pay attention. Not new, though.
6. Species extinction. Maybe, but that is habitat loss, Shirley, not GW.
7. Drought / NPP (current). Dubious, due to the Staniford stuff I mentioned above (and to be fair, I got the link from JR).
8. CO2 feedback from soils. Yes, but we have CO2 level measurements.
9, 10. Its going to get hotter. yes, I knew that already.
So, a couple of things of interest, but not much. Am I being too dismissive?