December 30, 2009

A Response to Mike Mann’s Washington Post Op-ed

On December 18th, the Washington Post ran an op-ed by Penn State’s Dr. Michael Mann—a central figure in the Climategate emails—arguing that the content of the released email “doesn’t alter evidence for climate change.”

But Dr. Mann is only coming at this from one side of the issue—that of the contents of the peer-reviewed literature. However, the Climategate emails contain ample evidence that the contents of the scientific literature were being influenced by an small group of researchers who sought to suppress ‘bad’ science—that is, science that they personally didn’t like. This is not the way things are supposed to work and has an unknown, but potentially large impact, which makes it virtually impossible to make valid assessments of the “evidence for climate change” based on the contents of the extant scientific literature.

An article posted at the new blog from the Science and Public Policy Institute discusses this situation in a bit more detail and includes a letter-to-the-editor that never made its way into print at the Washington Post that makes the point that contrary to Dr. Mann’s assertions, the Climategate emails reveal that it is not so much what is in the literature that is important, but what is not in the literature.

And this situation represents a true disservice to climate science at large.

December 27, 2009

Winter Storms Update

Filed under: Extratropical Storms

If we happen to see an unusually large number of winter storms this year, we suspect some reporter or some scientist will insist we are witnessing the effects of global warming, or at least declare we are witnessing climate change before our very eyes. Oppositely, if this year’s winter storms are infrequent, we will expect to learn from someone that we have seen the effects of climate change. In fact, in a recent paper in the International Journal of Climatology, the authors begin their piece noting “One area of growing concern in climate science is the impact that global warming could have through modulations of the nature and characteristics of naturally occurring extreme events, such as severe mid-latitude storms.” In the very next sentence, the research team from the United Kingdom and Australia state “However, both observational and modelling studies of historical and future storminess patterns and scenarios are divided on the role that global warming has played, or could play, in changing patterns of mid-latitude storms”. Once again, we find any straightforward link between global warming and winter storms is a bit more dicey than originally thought … there is always more to the story.


December 21, 2009

A Christmas Story: Some Facts about Greenland

The wonderful Christmas season is upon us, and no Christmas story would be complete without snow. If you really like snow, Greenland is the place for you! The snow there lasts all year long and is 1,000s of feet deep in the interior – a white Christmas is guaranteed every year in this winter paradise.

Anyone following the global warming debate is aware that Greenland is a favorite topic of the apocalypse crowd – melt Greenland, sea level will rise, the ocean currents will be disrupted, and the climate of the world will be changed for thousands of years — all thanks to our inability to slow-down our greenhouse gas emissions. The rhetoric from Copenhagen recently was full of disasters involving rapid melting of Greenland. Within the past week alone, we found the headlines “Warming Hits Greenland’s Hunters” and “The Maldives and Greenland’s Ilulissat: Two Countries Experiencing Global Warming at an Alarming Rate”.


December 18, 2009

WSJ: How to Manufacture a Climate Consensus

Filed under: Climate Politics

Be sure not to miss Pat Michaels’ view of one of the most important impacts of ‘Climategate’–the biasing of the contents of the scientific literature upon which the EPA bases its Endangerment Finding.

Pat lays out his case in today’s (Dec. 17, 2009) Wall Street Journal.

In summary:

The result of all this is that our refereed literature has been inestimably damaged, and reputations have been trashed. Mr. Wigley repeatedly tells news reporters not to listen to “skeptics” (or even nonskeptics like me), because they didn’t publish enough in the peer-reviewed literature—even as he and his friends sought to make it difficult or impossible to do so.

Ironically, with the release of the Climategate emails, the Climatic Research Unit, Michael Mann, Phil Jones and Tom Wigley have dramatically weakened the case for emissions reductions. The EPA claimed to rely solely upon compendia of the refereed literature such as the IPCC reports, in order to make its finding of endangerment from carbon dioxide. Now that we know that literature was biased by the heavy-handed tactics of the East Anglia mob, the EPA has lost the basis for its finding.

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