More foam

A little while ago I was ratty at Romm for being ratty at Peilke. All very exciting, but I was challenged to Please identify a single scientifically inaccurate statement in the paragraph that Pielke excerpted from the report. This isn’t difficult; Pielke has already done it. Romm also asked me to please identify the scientifically inaccurate statements in my blog post that you trashed. This turns out to be harder: though all the ranting, I can’t actualy see any strictly scientific statements in there at all. Can anyone else?

Foaming at the mouth with Joe Romm

“A friend” points me towards Why does the New York Times hate science? by Joe Romm. Sigh. Experience teaches me that RP Jr can wipe the floor with Romm without even trying, largely because Romm falls flat on his face without any help from anyone else.

As far as I can tell (because it took me some time to fight through the ranting) Romm is complaining about RP’s post This post is about how the report summarizes the issue of disasters and climate change, including several references to my work, which is misrepresented where “the report” is the new CCSP report, which I haven’t read. RP is pointing out, yet again, that evidence for increased cost of GW in disaster related losses is thin at the very best, and that people seem very happy to quote outdated reports if they support their pov. Unfortunately, this is a message that many people don’t want to hear. RP’s reasonned calm and well-referenced post is attacked by Romm as “both the lamest and the most intellectually dishonest attack in his career” and Romms excuse for not engaging with any or RP’s arguments is “his entire post is the blog equivalent of waterboarding”.

Romm has an audience, I suppose, that wants to be fed this tripe. But it does him no credit. I’m certainly not listening to him any more. For those that *are* listening to him: why? What was the last useful thing you learnt from him?

[Hmm – mt sounds a bit doubty – perhaps he needs to prepare for a visit from the climate police?]

Runaway climate change?

Wiki has an article on the subject, created by over enthusiastic folk. I tried to kill the witch on the grounds that it had no good definition; alas that didn’t fly. My best effort at a defn that fitted reality was this but it didn’t last. The wiki article will die a long slow painful death, but the term lives on elsewhere.

One of those places being Why we need a zero carbon world by zerocarboncaravan.net. All very nice people, no doubt, but over enthusiasts all. Why do we need a ZCW? Easy: We need a zero carbon world to drastically improve our chances of avoiding a runaway greenhouse effect that is irreversible. Um. But what *is* a RGE? Wiki thinks it’s the same thing as RCC. I’m dubious. I think it might be the thing where our oceans boil away, in which case we can forget all about it as its not going to happen. ZCW seem to use RGE and RCC just about interchangably too, but I think its fairly clear they aren’t doing a lot of thinking. Continuing, climate science indicates that runaway climate change is likely unless extremely rapid cuts in carbon emissions take place within the next few years. Well, since I don’t know what RCC is, I suppose thats a little bit hard to argue with. But unless they mean Hansen, who is well out on a limb, its hard to see exactly what science they are referring to. And no article about RCC would be complete without fatuous nonsense like In 2001, it was projected that the sea ice on the Arctic Ocean would disappear in around 140 years. Now it is clear that it will be gone in a decade or so. Even the wild-eyed wackos don’t say its clear it *will* be gone in a decade (unless they are hiding a very long tail nder “or so”).

OK, enough ranting. can anyone point me at a credible defn of RCC or RGE?

[Update: thanks to Eli for the idea, and ABM for the H+S ref. I’ve now decided I know what RaGE is, and have dumped it into wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Runaway_greenhouse_effect&oldid=271212711 for the version I left, which might survive, and [[Runaway_greenhouse_effect]] for the current version, which could well be a disaster by the time you read this. Improvements (especially more refs) very welcome. Less impressed by comments attempting to define RCC -W]

If that trend continues, says Serreze, sea ice will be -6 feet thick by 2050

Someone refererred be to As Effects of Warming Grow, U.N. Report is Quickly Dated . It’s yet another piece of the std.nonsense that one swallow does a summer make, and anyone who feels like quoting the odd warming factoid can throw away the IPCC, whilst of course sneering at the people who say it hasn’t been getting warmer recently, ‘cos obviously *that* is just weather.

So, what do we have? Since the late 1970s, satellite observations have shown a steadily growing retreat of Arctic sea ice in summer. Earlier [obviously it is too much trouble to say exactly which studies are meant; but this looks consistent with IPCC] models projected that between 2050 and 2070 the north polar sea would be essentially ice-free for at least part of the year. But in 2005, a steady downward trend in summer ice started to plunge more sharply. It got worse in 2006 and 2007, and moderated only slightly this past summer [Don’t know what the author thinks is going on at this point. 2005 was nothing special. Nor was 2006. Only 2007-8 are off the long-term declining trend. However, the 2008 ice was more extensive than in 2007. Clearly, the year-to-year trend is positive for 2007-8. That is obviously meaningless. For some reason, however, the 2006-2007 yearly trend *isn’t* meaningless, presumably because it indicates warming]. The area of the Arctic Ocean now covered by sea ice in summer is only about half as large as in 1950, according to satellite photos [Photos???] and data from earlier studies. The year-round sea ice is also appreciably thinner, often only three feet deep as opposed to nine feet a half-century ago. If that trend continues, says Serreze, “the move to ice-free will come a lot earlier, say, around 2030. Some people are even saying it could happen as early as a decade from now.”

“Some people” think the moon landings were faked, and that aliens abducted their sister.

Which trend does Serreze mean? The one about ice getting thinner? That’s the one I faked the headline from:clearly if we linearly extrapolate 9′ 50 years ago through 3′ now to 50 years in the future, its going to be -6 ‘ thick. Thats obvious nonsense. Or we cold take the area, which halved between 1950 and now. So again, by about 2050 (or a bit later, really) we’ll be down to no ice. But obviously that’s far too boringly slow. So instead I suppose Serreze must be drawing trend lines through 2007, which is obviously valid, as we all know that a single year is a valid trend, if it’s heading in the right direction.

Elsewhere, the text mentions Greenland melting, but it is by no means clear how important or long-term that is. Yes CO2 grew a lot in the great boom years, but no we’re still pretty well on IS92a and who wants to bet that 2009 will still show a huge growth? See-also stoat passim.

Need more evidence that IPCC is out of date? How about Pfeffer, of the University of Colorado, along with several colleagues, recalculated the projections of sea-level rise and came up with a range of .8 to 2 meters. Except… oh dear, this is an utter travesty of what Pfeffer actually does. See yet more stoat. P waves their hands and produces some numbers; they don’t mean a lot though. They certainly don’t replace IPCC and they very definitely aren’t definite.

Nierenberg: the wiki soap

I’ve been down the pub so no chance for any sensible or sober posts. Roll on wikipedia.

So we come to [[William Nierenberg]] and its revision history. Alas, this is an example of wikipedia at its worst: a process-obsessed zealot more interested in policy than reality (thats the other side, not me, before you start wondering).

I say “re-rv twaddle. Reagan simply didn’t commission a report. Do you have a clue about this?” [1]. Alas the Dark Side’s answer is the cr*ppy Times article[2] that Oreskes should be ashamed of, and “rv – Do you have a clue about Wikipedia policy? [WP:VERIFY]. If you cannot verify your claim then it doesn’t belong . My edit has reliable source, yours doesn’t. Find the source then make the edit” [3]. Oh well, I imagine we’ll kiss and make up at some point, though I’m doing my best to make that difficult [4].

What do you do on a friday night?

Iain Stewart is -ahem- wrong about global cooling

Oh dear. Yet another victim of the std.nonsense global cooling error. “Thanks” to ABM for pointing this out. If you can bear watching piles of twaddle, get in quick before the BBC watch-again feature expires.

But if you’re unfamiliar with the issue, don’t watch sh*t* on the Beeb, read wiki or RC.

I’ve mailed him to see if its his fault or the Beebs. We’ll see.