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    Do You Believe In Global Warming? ClimateGate Revisited - Again
    By Bente Lilja Bye | July 8th 2010 07:09 PM | 148 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Bente Lilja

    Earth science expert and astrophysicist writes about Earth observation, geodesy, climate change, geohazards, water cycle and other science related...

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    “Do you believe in global warming?” he shouted after me as I was leaving the plane. On the plane  going back from ESA's Living Planet Symposium  in Bergen I sat beside a very lively and  knowledgeable couple from the New York area. They had been visiting family in Latvia and Norway and were on their way back home. I rarely talk to my neighbors on the plane, mostly because I use  the opportunity to work while enduring the torturous narrow seats. I'm 1.73 m tall (go metric ) and  the leg space is made for midgets. On this flight though, I acted like a normal social being and made  conversation.
    SAS plane over Bergen
    Scene from the flight between Bergen and Oslo. Photo: B L Bye

    'He' worked at Cornell University after a long corporate life in the oil industry. A bit into the conversation we discovered that we both were astrophysicists; he had enjoyed discovering the first  gamma ray bursts. We covered a wide range of topics on that 40 min. flight from Bergen to Oslo. We had said our good byes and safe journey's when he suddenly wanted to know my view on global  warming. “What do you mean, believe?” I asked over the heads of the people struggling with  getting their luggage down from the compartments.

    Climategate
    The latest and perhaps most thorough review on the so-called Climategate was released yesterday. The Independent Climate Change Email Review lead by Sir Muir Russell concluded, like the two preceding reports, that there were no signs of misconduct or fraudulent behavior by the scientists  involved in University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit -  CRU's work.

    First of all, to me Climategate is really no big deal or surprise. Why wouldn't the highly competitive climate in the science community or the combination of science and politics produce someone hacking into the  'enemies' computers looking for sensitive information? And why wouldn't that sensitive information of  private character (until recently emails between cooperating colleagues were regarded as private) reveal human beings using less sophisticated language? I mean, I try to prepare my son (19) for his professional life by reminding him over and over again that his environment will remain being like a  Kindergarten no matter where he'll be and whom he'll play with. The same social laws and displays of human strengths and weaknesses will be demonstrated. The only difference between children's  Kindergartens and adult's Kindergartens is perhaps that adults are better at covering up their  motives and actions, often through more sophisticated language. But not always, as can be seen in some of the hacked emails. You'll have to excuse me, but I cannot produce any kind of shock hearing or reading scientists curse. And honestly, I suspect those who claim to be shocked or repulsed by that are having hidden agendas. Like the sliest kid in the Kindergarten.

    Open data access
    After establishing that scientists are humans (still) acting in a highly competitive environment, I  move on to more important issues related to Climategate. My interest in Climategate is related to  data policy. The CRU gang was accused of holding back their data. In earlier articles Climategate - The Truth About Transparency  and Climategate - To Share Or Not To Share, I argue that they cannot  be held responsible for inaccessible data, as it was not in their powers to share. The Independent Climate Change Email Review support this view.
    “On the allegation of withholding temperature data, we find that CRU was not in
    a position to withhold access to such data or tamper with it."


    While I went somewhat into details (see video above) on why CRU was not responsible for whatever data that remained inaccessible (I also pointed to the fact that CRU had made data accessible through a website that  anyone could reach), The independent Muir Russell evaluation chose a much more creative way of communicating the same point. They simply went ahead and physically demonstrated that the  information was there. That included showing that anyone with appropriate competence could easily reproduce program codes that also were asked for and claimed to be non-rightfully held back.

    This brilliant communication stunt, kills two flies by one hit (as we say in Norway): first it shows that sufficient data is clearly already there openly available and accessible to anyone who would be  interested in getting it. Why would you ask CRU scientists to do this work for you for free - under the Freedom of Information Act FoIA? Second, the stunt demonstrates that if you have the necessary knowledge to even have an opinion on CRU's work, you would be able to verify or falsify their work based on information CRU actually made available. Ridiculously easy. If you are not able to do this  you are maybe not in a position to judge?

    In the future, I hope that organizations like GEO succeed in speeding up the political process  securing a wider production of Earth observation data that are openly accessible to all users and not restrained by national laws and regulations, as is too often the case today.

    Hockey sticks and tricks.
    You don't need to be a scientists to know that climate is something that changes with time. I am talking about longterm climate change and not the present debated climate change. I'm referring to  ancient ice ages and warmer periods. When we learn geography in school the formation of the local landscape is explained with reference to movements of ice-sheets that used to be there, or sea level  that was 100reds of meters (go metric again) higher than today or other climate related explanations. Tangible proof of the former higher sea level can be found in my neck of the woods as  there are plenty of marine fossils found at 300 meters height, tens of kilometers inland from the  current coastlines. Variations in climate is layman knowledge, really.

    The hockey stick graph has been attacked by those who deny that climate is changing. Or more precisely those who deny that the planet is getting warmer. The Independent Climate Change Emails Review report concludes that the CRU graph is misleading in that they have not described how they chose to represent their data.  Note, that the data is not considered wrong, but the representation merely misleading.

    The hacked emails contained statements like 'trick' and 'hide the decline' and I can understand that some might get confused by that, especially when taken out of context and presented in colored  language. For scientists using a 'trick' is understood as intelligently or elegantly using math or  algorithms. That is how the CRU group uses the term as well. The Independent Climate Change Emails Review's critique, as I read it, lies not in using tricks but in not being sufficiently clear as to what exactly  they did to produce the graph (hockey stick). The review states:

    "On the allegation that the references in a specific e-mail to a „trick‟ and to hide the decline‟ in respect of a 1999 WMO report figure show evidence of intent to paint a misleading picture, we find that, given its subsequent iconic significance (not least the use of a similar  figure in the IPCC Third Assessment Report), the figure supplied for the WMO Report was misleading. We do not find that it is misleading to curtail reconstructions at some point per se, or to splice data, but we believe that both of these procedures should have been made plain – ideally in  the figure but certainly clearly described in either the caption or the text."

    IPCC Global Temperature TAR

    Neither using a 'trick' nor 'hiding the decline' imply a proof there is no global warming. Global  warming is shown in three independent studies, and actually also reproduced in this review report. I believe the CRU group wanted to illustrate that we actually have this warming and they wanted people to be warned and concerned with its implications. I have to admit that when I saw the hockey stick first I assumed the extreme slope was exaggerated to show the point. It did not make me believe the planet was getting colder, though!

    What conclusion will they draw those who believe the hockey stick is incorrect? That the planet is cooling? Or that for the first time in the history of this planet, climate will not change one bit and remain the same for ever after? The first option should evoke actions to adapt to a new ice age, right? And the second, a stable climate would require no action at all. Inaction is also a decision. What grounds would such decisions be made on? Where can we find evidence that the planet miraculously have entered a stable climate phase never seen before?

    Even if CRU may be guilty of producing a misleading graphical representation of scientific sound  data, or are acting hostile and juvenile, it doesn't change the fact that our planet is warming.

    Science based Earth observations
    This summer two major international Earth science meetings have taken place in Norway. The  International Polar Year Oslo Science Conference gathered 2400 polar scientist for one extended  week in Lillestrøm, a small town immediately outside Oslo. IPY has already resulted in a much better understanding of the polar regions and thus the Earth system as a whole. It's legacy is not yet  complete as results from this intense focus will keep on coming.

    One of the themes at the IPY conference was Space for polar science. A tremendous effort has been  made by space agencies and institutions around the world providing us with a wealth of new satellite data from this strategic region. It is most definitely strategic for our understanding of climate change as these are the regions, including the Himalayas which sometimes is referred to as the third pole, that are particularly susceptible to global warming as well as human induced pollution.

    One interesting topic is the melting of ice sheets, one if not the most important geophysical consequence of global warming. Greenland is covered by a humongous ice-sheet that we observe diminishes more rapidly than even anticipated. Melting ice means less mass, and this can be observed by satellites like GRACE.

    Glacier calving in Greenland (look for the drama at appx 0:35). Footage courtesy of Dr. Abbas Kahn at DTU Space, Danish Space Institute doing calibration work for optimal use of GRACE. He graciously provided me with this at the IPY Oslo Science Conference.

    The satellite observations lead us to the second big Earth science meeting in Norway; ESA's Living Planet Symposium in Bergen. Cryosat is one of the three Earth Explorers that has been successfully launched the last couple of years, securing great volumes of high quality sea-ice data from extended  otherwise inaccessible areas. The Living Planet program with the rest of the Earth Explorers included  will arm us with an incredible arsenal of Earth system observers. And that is just the European Space Agency ESA. I haven't even mentioned NASA and space agencies on other continents.

    Common for the two meetings was the intelligent discourse between scientists with different views on various topics. Like, how much, fast and in what fashion is the ice melting, how is sea level variations spatially distributed etc.

    Believe in global warming?
    My point is that scientists are in fact discussing global warming and climate change like any other scientific topic. They soberly evaluate different hypothesis, some favor one hypothesis over another  and we have a regular scientific debate where not everybody agrees. It is no reason why the general public couldn't be well informed about this process. If we take the case of global warming, the  scientific discussion is not about whether the planet is warming, but why and how. A big difference. That is why I asked “What do you mean, believe?” on the plane back from Bergen. There is no believe or disbelief when it comes to global warming. Satellites and other instruments are our eye witnesses. Solid documentation of that fact was presented at IPY OSC and ESA's Living Planet Symposium – and in many other forums.

    Communicating climate change is difficult when matters of proven facts are disputed. The hacked  emails show some of the despair over this blind-end discussion. If you add looking ahead and throw in hypothesis about how the planet will act in the future, things get even more complicated.

    Uncertainties
    Climate models and earth observations are distinct in that the first is theoretical and the latter is actual data representing reality. Global warming is not a model, it is empirical data, observation of the Earth made over a period of time. Climate models are more like an educated crystal ball.

    In a sense it is almost irrelevant if we had a warmer medieval period or a little ice-age within the last 1000 years or so. What is important is how we handle the current warming. Since the last two somewhat significant changes in climate took place, we have experienced an exponential population growth. Since we live on a finite planet with limited resources we are several orders of magnitude more exposed to lethal and sever economic consequences of climate change today than ever before. In this perspective it would be awfully nice to know what will happen next. But

    "Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future. "
    Niels Bohr, Danish physicist.


    The Independent Climate Change Email Review addresses the uncertainties that lies in climate change research and encourage scientific communities to communicate this point better in the future.

    "Prophesy is a good line of business, but it is full of risks."
    Mark Twain, American Writer

    How about leaving Climategate behind us now, stop arguing over matters of facts like rising temperatures and instead focus on the uncertainties? Why not start to prepare our society
    for a number of climate scenarios?

    Interesting and relevant reading

    Global warming independent estimates are made by:

    NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies

    NOAA/National Climatic Data Center

    Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia

    The three inquiries:

    1. Science Assessment Panel led by Lord Oxburgh pdf link

    2. Science and Technology committee. Released 31st March 2010.

    3. Independent Climate Change Emails Review. Released 7th July 2010

    NASA Climate site:

    Climate

    On Ice

    Cool stuff about ice here at Science2.0 by Patrick Lockerby

    Selection of BBC articles covering Climategate:

    Climategate scientists honest but should have been more open. Susan Watts

    Climategate e-mails review condemns lack of openness. Martin Rosenbaum

    Climate data: What's hidden. Richard Black

    Harrabin's Notes: Getting to the bottom of Climategate. Roger Harrabin

    WMO

    Statement of the climate (find all reports since  1995)

    WMO 1999 mentioned by ICCER

    Global warming skeptics:

    Climate Audit

    Climate Depot

    Will be updated (reading list) shortly.... [has been updated - will add more if I find interesting material]

    Comments

    Of course there is, and has always been, global warming and global cooling. But the data show that CO2 levels are independent of cooling and warming. More CO2 alleviates global hunger by making crops grow larger and faster with less water. It is the basis of making carbohydrates that feed up the food chain. CO2 is only 386 parts per million and absorbs IR at 12-18 microns, whereas the major greenhouse gas is water at 22,000 parts per million that absorb IR from about 14-100 microns, and it also absorbs energy from visible light (CO2 cannot). Water vapor keeps the Earth warm over day/night, weather spells, and somewhat over the seasons. With CO2 increasing rapidly from 1947 to 1970 the Earth cooled. The hottest years in the last 400 years were in the 1930s, as shown by true thermometer records in the US (hottest, 1934) and Japan (hottest, 1933). Around 1000 AD it was much hotter with a lot less CO2 (less than 280 ppm). So explain that with CO2. Hey, Lady, go get your hair done, or go run a business or run for office in Norway, or whatever you like, but please don't blah blah science unless you take some physics and mathematics. PLEASE! You sound like a politician with a vested interest.!!!!! YOU BELIEVE IN MAN_MADE GLOBAL WARMING but 30,000 scientists recentily signed a petition that this is NOT true. I need not ask if you believe in astrology.

    Stellare
    I prefer to communicate with people who can read. You obviously did not read my article. Here is a hint for you: This is not an article about man-made or any other cause of global warming.

    I am a theoretical astrophysicist. I bet I know more physics and mathematics than you do, dear old man. :-)
    That information is in my article as well as in my profile.
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Dear blogger,

    Nobody here is so naïve, that we "misread" your article, and believe we "misread" it only because you say that. Of course you are on the same side as AGW, and there before you believe our CO2 production is responsible for the global warming.

    You even act like people on your side use to act: with a lot of arrogance and doing everything to missing the point, and demonstate an attitude that says AGW-critics is not even worth to be addressed with respect. But this is not a good behavior at all, my dear Bente, and certainly not a scientific behavior. And this is also one of the big problems that Climategate revealed.

    Okey, I understand my comment above can be misunderstood. My point is that Bente Lilja Bye use to act arrogant generally in this question, not that the first comment here was worth serious discussion. At least not when the author talked about her hair and education.

    Let me point this out, to. Bente Lilja Bye wrote:

    "The hockey stick graph has been attacked by those who deny that climate is changing. Or more precisely those who deny that the planet is getting warmer."

    This shows very clearly you are ignorant about AGW-criticism. Nobody - not even AGW-critics - deny that the climate is changing, and the planet is getting warmer. There seems to be a cooling trend the last years, which the critics like to point out, but that is all.

    Stellare
    You deny that people deny global warming, too?

    The American Denial of Global Warming. (58:37) Deepens the analysis of the denial at around 26:20.

    I begin to believe that you are pulling a Goebble on me: if you repeat a lie sufficient times it will become the truth.

    In 2006/2007 about one third of the American people didn't believe there was global warming (Yale poll). And the fact that I was asked that question " Do you believe in global warming?" indicate that there are in fact people who do not believe in global warming, or am I jumping to conclusions? ;-)

    Here are some more facts:
    Somebody hacked into UEA servers, retrieved email correspondence and published them. Hacking is illegal in the UK.

    I'm simply stating facts.
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    You wrote:

    "You deny that people deny global warming, too?"

    As I said before, you do everything to missing the point. I am sure you know perfectly well that your question have nothing to do with what I was writing. I said AGW-critics dont deny global warming; only that it is antropogenic.

    But if you want to destroy a discussion, and make referenses to *YouTube* (!) and news headlines (!!) when the article in itself explain that 1/3 deny *antropogenic* global warming - do it, ma'am. And act completely unscientific like a troll with a blog.

    And of course you even know how to understand your friends question in everyday language.

    "I'm simply stating facts."

    Yes, you "scientists" are only stating facts and are always amazingly objective and devoid of prejudices. The science you produce are always the best possible. At lest when scientists judge themself.

    But it is not you yourself who make this kind of judgment, because you are talking in your own interests. You are 100% disqualified.

    Stellare
    I stand corrected. It is not (any longer) one third of Americans that doubt the reality of global warming, it is 40%!

    "... fully 40 percent believe there is major disagreement among scientists about whether climate change is even occurring." (my boldification)

    Say Professor Naomi Oreskes  and Erik M Conway on Yale Environmental website e360.

    Universities now use social media - YouTube included? The video I directed you too was posted on the University of California, San Diego channel.

    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    I never use YouTube as a reference, only because movies in themself are useless on references . But movies are excellent for propaganda, which already Goebbels understood... And a movie from a university is not much better than others.

    And your other reference... Are you kidding me? Do you really think that kind of pure propaganda article is much worth...? Everytime I read about polls like that, the question have been if you believe in *antropogenic* global warming. And I am sure it is the same here; but of course the article you make a reference to, is not interested in that kind of "unimportant" details.

    And as I have tried to say, AGW-critics dont deny global warming, only that the global warming is caused by humans. What people in general think, is another question - and people in general are not very well informed, in any "intellectual" topic.

    Stellare
    The YouTube video is not a film but a recording of a scientific talk. These are modern times, science directly from the source reach you from other channels than the peer reviewed journal. This is partly what this very web site is about. (Ref one of the Hot Topics here).

    Again, I am not addressing what causes global warming. It is beyond me that you insist that there is no doubt in anybodies mind that there is global warming, when the contrary is so clearly evident in all kinds of media.

    Other readers might be able to get the nuances of Oreskes summary of the arguments used by the critics:
    - no 'proof' (science is uncertain) and no 'consensus' (scientists are divided)
    - if warming is happening, it's not anthropogenic, it's just natural variability
    - if it is anthropogenic, it isn't necessarily bad
    - we can adapt to any changes
    - controlling Green House Gases emissions would cost jobs, harm, even destroy, the U.S. economy

    It is just silly to insist that no AGW critics deny the very fact of global warming. Of course, AGW critics are different and of different opinion (partly reflected in the list above).

    Since you do not trust a professor's ability to read here you have it from the horse mouth. The letters show that global warming critics tries to deny the very fact of global warming in these selected quotes:

    "Most important, though, is the fact -- not mentioned in the IPCC summary -- that weather satellite observations, independently backed by data from balloon-borne sensors, have shown no global warming trend whatsoever in the past 20 years. "

    Fred Singer (Marshall Institute)- in the Wall Street Journal 1997

    and  here  NWS weather 'records' probably false.

    Just in case new readers should be in doubt. I am not only supporting critical thinking, I rely on the scientific community continuing to do so. However, let the debate be fair and based on facts.




    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    <>

    As I said, such things are useless as akademic references. Modern or not.

    <>

    You have shown perfectly well you are totally ignorant about the AGW-criticism. So it is beyond me, that you at all try to discuss this topic - or tell people like me what my opinion should be...

    <>

    It is only silly of you to pretend I should think *no* AGW critics think so. Of course I talk average.

    <>

    Obviously, you believe your critical thinking is perfect. But you dont even understand how ignorant you are about AGW criticism. Now you tried to read with a little more nuances, which I appreciate.

    Scientists themself are often very naive about science and how it works, and lack a sound perspective and distance to it. There is much more bad science than you think. Read for example this famous study by John P Ioannidis: http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124

    It is obvious that most of the signs on bad science Ioannidis give, also have to do with AGW-science.

    /There was something wrong with my last comment, so I send it again./

    "The YouTube video is not a film but a recording of a scientific talk. These are modern times, science directly from the source reach you from other channels than the peer reviewed journal."

    As I said, such things are useless as akademic references. Modern or not.

    "Again, I am not addressing what causes global warming. It is beyond me that you insist that there is no doubt in anybodies mind that there is global warming, when the contrary is so clearly evident in all kinds of media."

    You have shown perfectly well you are totally ignorant about the AGW-criticism. So it is beyond me, that you at all try to discuss this topic - or tell people like me what my opinion should be...

    "It is just silly to insist that no AGW critics deny the very fact of global warming. Of course, AGW critics are different and of different opinion (partly reflected in the list above)."

    It is only silly of you to pretend I should think *no* AGW critics think so. Of course I talk average.

    "Just in case new readers should be in doubt. I am not only supporting critical thinking, I rely on the scientific community continuing to do so."

    Obviously, you believe your critical thinking is perfect. But you dont even understand how ignorant you are about AGW criticism. Now you tried to read with a little more nuances, which I appreciate.

    Scientists themself are often very naive about science and how it works, and lack a sound perspective and distance to it. There is much more bad science than you think. Read for example this famous study by John P Ioannidis: http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124

    It is obvious that most of the signs on bad science Ioannidis describe, also have very much to do with AGW-science.

    Stellare
    Like I've said multiple times before, this article is about the essential facts, not a discussion about anthropospheric global warming.

    - there is global warming
    - CRU is not fraudulent
    - data policy: CRU shared data they could share - and that was enough so that their science could be verified/falsified.

    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Ekey, let me reply on this too:

    "Here are some more facts:
    Somebody hacked into UEA servers, retrieved email correspondence and published them. Hacking is illegal in the UK.

    I'm simply stating facts."

    This argument is very naïve. Of course it is sometimes no problem ethically to break laws, if the purpose is good. But once again, I am sure you already understood this.

    logicman
    ... it is sometimes no problem ethically to break laws, if the purpose is good.

    Who gets to determine the ethics - the person breaking the law, or the person who enjoys the protection of law?

    We have courts of law - not courts of ethics.

    It is unlawful to obtain data from a computer without the owner's express permission.  Evidence obtained unlawfully is obtained in breach of a person's Fourth Amendment rights.

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
    Why did so many American blog sites rush to publish the unlawfully obtained emails?  Surely if it was their own emails they would be screaming "Fourth Amendment" as loud as a Who Concert.

    Weeks v. United States

    http://www.oyez.org/cases/1901-1939/1913/1913_461
    Stellare
    Patrick, this is what is a mystery to me. Why does the media leave this particular hacking alone? It is good conflict material as well. And I remember how the US was practically drooling over that British guy who hacked into US government servers. Wanted to lock him up for centuries.

    I honestly do not understand the silence. The hacking is investigated by the police, I believe, in the UK. But. Complete silence. Odd!
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Hank
    The golfer Tiger Woods was undone by illegally obtained phone records ... by his wife.  :)
    The hacking is a one-off but evidence of conspiracy in something which means billions of dollars is much more significant.
    Stellare
    "The hacking is a one-off but evidence of conspiracy in something which means billions of dollars is much more significant."

    Still, the hacking story is a mystery and in its own right interesting as a media story. Who did it? Why? How? Etc. And it is part of the 'billions of dollars' picture. So - beats me - still. :-)
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Hank
    Oh, there's no question this was intentional by skeptics with some computer skills but they didn't pick CRU at random - they likely felt like they were being stonewalled and perhaps just knew (ha ha) something was going on so the ends justified the means.    They may have broken into 30 places looking for implicating emails but the one time they found it made the headlines.

    Still, emails hacked is not a defense.    Even moreso when Al Gore said numerous times the emails were a decade old and they were from a few months prior - if opponents of Bush had hacked into emails showing fraud regarding faked information about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq there would be no discussion at all of how the emails were obtained because the issue, and the cost, are too important.

    So in a sense scientists have to suffer because the issue is as important as they always said it should be.
    Stellare
    Having a motive doesn't make you guilty. The hackers could just have been a couple of kids fooling around on other peoples servers sneak peaking at private emails and then realized that the skeptics could be interested. We do not know for sure. I agree that suspicion falls heavily on skeptics though. :-)

    Nevertheless, it is foul play and scientists are not used to this kind of game.

    Your comparison with Bush (again! :-)) doesn't apply - there is no fraud or fake information from CRU, Hank.

    "So in a sense scientists have to suffer because the issue is as important as they always said it should be"

    Scientists are not trained to handle this kind of 'fame' and importance, that is for sure. Many don't know what they ask for either when they say science should be more important.
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    logicman
    30,000 scientists recentily signed a petition ...

    A petition is a written request for a specified political action addressed to political leaders by a group of politically motivated signatories.

    It ain't science.

    Hey, dude, go get some tattoos, or go work as a nightclub bouncer, or whatever you like, but please don't blah blah science unless you take some physics and mathematics.

    Patrick- Please read (your own quote of the quote) carefully, it said "SCIENTISTS signed a petition"
    Now dingus, LOOK that word UP!
    (Just in case you cannot reach that big book with all those long, long words, "Scientists" means people who DO SCIENCE. Therefore, the quote means "30,000 People who did science signed a petition"; NOT petitioners who think globally and act LOCO.....
    OY! How did YOU get onto this web site? All your favorite Porn sites broke down????
    You really should not have tried to insult that dude, going in unarmed in a battle of wits and all.....

    I think the article pretty well sets a case that Global Warming is noticeable, and the OTHER commentary is (for the most part) civilized. Yet Patrick, you seem to have missed a point or two in focusing upon the wrong word. Like putting the accent on the wrong Syl-LA-ble and not hearing the real idea behind it all.

    logicman
    The comment by anonymous contained a very uncivil remark addressed to Bente:
    "Hey, Lady, go get your hair done, or go run a business or run for office in Norway, or whatever you like, but please don't blah blah science unless you take some physics and mathematics."

    My response was a light-hearted paraphrase of those words.

    The exact quote re scientists was:

    YOU BELIEVE IN MAN_MADE GLOBAL WARMING but 30,000 scientists recentily signed a petition that this is NOT true.

    On a plain reading, anonymous appears to be saying that 30,000 people who do science of whatever kind signed a petition to say that it is not true that Bente believes in man made global warming.  And they signed it recentily (sic).

    Now dingus, LOOK that word UP!

    I don't need to.  Dingus used to mean 'whatsit', 'thingamy', and such.  These days it has been appropriated as a term for 'stupid' by people who can't for the moment remember a suitable word for 'stupid'.

    That makes you, so far, the most uncivilized commenter in this thread.  You may wish to quit while you are ahead.  ;-)
    Stellare
    Hi Patrick, I was on the job of defending you defending me when you defended yourself. :-) Thanks!

    But, like I say in the comment above, I knew there would be some harsh words thrown at me writing about global warming, let alone Climategate. The temperature is soooo high in this debate, it is really hard to have meaningful exchanges. :-)
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Stellare
    Hi Jess Green,

    "I think the article pretty well sets a case that Global Warming is noticeable,"

    Thank you! That was the intent. :-)

    I will defend Patrick here though, because he was being British and with a touch of humorous irony pointed to an insult made against me ("Hey Lady, go do your hair...").

    Writing about global warming implies having insults thrown at you. I knew that. :-)




    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Wow, I can't believe people are still quoting that debunked "30,000 scientists signed a petition" thing.

    -It was run by a 'science research group' whose address is a barn in the middle of nowhere.
    -Said 30,000 people are largely made up by engineers and GP's. When asked the question of if AGW is real their opinion is about as useful as Jo Public.
    -It was run so well and scrutinized so well that there are names such as former Spice Girl member Geri Halliwell on the list.
    -There are corporations who 'signed the petition'. How does one do this?
    -The cover letter sent out to these mostly non-academic 'scientists' originally read something along the lines of "We do not feel we should pay more money to combat AGW" not "I don't believe in AGW".

    The list goes on and on. To use this as an evidence of anything is insane or incredibly naive. Do you swallow anything you read without first looking into it as long as it conforms with your world views?

    I can't speak for the nightclub bouncers, but as a tattooist, I can tell you that I don't want to have to deal with this jackass. Ditch digging might be a more appropriate pastime for this guy.

    Hank
    Agreed.  Sometimes even E=MC^2 tattoos can't make people look smarter but holding a shovel all day would at least give him some time to think about science instead of framing it through politics.
    Climategate did reveal how some within the scientific community will twist the data (or hide it) to benefit thier agrument. The lesson we should learn is that we should not automatically accept everything given to us by supposed scientists, but we should evaluate it critically. For example, the earth is very complex and a number of different fields have to be addressed when we debate the global warming science.If we miss just one physical phenomena, the model could be all off? Should we be so quick to impose harsh measures on our economies when we don't have a full understanding of the processes. For example, volcanic eruptions could change our atmosphere overnight creating global cooling rather than global warming. The earth has many natural processes that liberates many global warming gases. Does man's actions on the environment pose the greatest threat? Should we impose huge burdens on our economies if global warming is a natural process with or without man? Again, do we account for all the processes that affect the global temperature? Should not the plasma energy flows be included in the model? Does not energy flow between different levels of atmosphere impact the global warming debate?

    One other issue should be mentioned. Many scientists have a vested interest to prove global warming. If it is not an issue they will be without a job. I would specifically point out the UN scientists. If global warming is not an issue their funding will cease immediately. I do not believe that their research is not impacted by this pressure!

    I do think we should respect those who have take the time to study in many scientic fields, but I do not think that we should be naive and automatically accept everything they say. I have a masters in engineering and I do know about thermal modeling. There are many factors related to the thermal modeling of Earth and our atmosphere and it is coupled with many other fields of study. This modeling is very difficult and we should use great caution when we make projections based on these models.

    Stellare
    Hi Anonymous Engineer,

    Thank you for your comment.

    Nobody is naively accepting what scientists say - it is critically evaluated by peers as well as others. And so it should be.

    And you are absolutely correct in pointing out that the Earth system is indeed complex. Nobody is denying that either. In fact Gavin Smidth, NASA, recently underlined that the projections are uncertain and adding more complexity will increase the uncertainty even more. It is one of our big challenges to manage risks associated with the current global warming as the projections into the future are so uncertain and thus our knowledge of the risks. It would be very bad risk management to simply ignore the problem though.

    By the way. You are mistaken when you say:

    "Climategate did reveal how some within the scientific community will twist the data (or hide it) to benefit thier agrument."

    It is clear that they did in fact not twist the data (or hide it) - which would have been fraud.

    Bente Lilja Bye
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Bente,
    Thank you for taking the time to respond. Even the supporters of global warming admit that the data was manipulated. In a legal sense, there may not have been enough evidence to prosecute them, but they DID have an agenda and information was presented in a way that was favorable to global warming. At times they were addressing the problems with the data, which is a good thing, but it is very apparent that they had an agenda to promote global warming. If you do not see this as problematic, then I think we have a very different view of what is healthy science. I have observed that there is a general attitude among some in the sciences and many on your post, that someone who does not hold to the Global warming scare is somehow uneducated, ignorant, and unscientific. When these tactics are used and bandwagon is used to purify the sciences, this is when we need to be alarmed!

    Stellare
    Repeating a lie does not make it true, Anonymous. The science is sound. No data manipulation other than regular sound scientific work was done.

    Publishing scientific results is not promotion of any cause. Scientific work in itself is not about promoting anything - not global warming as you say. Again, repeating a lie does not make it true.

    In my article I point to where the scientific debates are taking place, and it is not on whether we have global warming.

    I am convinced that you know what you are doing by repeating such evident lies - you try to disrupt and define the premises of a discussion - you try to prevent a sound scientific discussion. You are doing politics. Anonymous. ;-)
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    "Should we be so quick to impose harsh measures on our economies when we don't have a full understanding of the processes."

    The sooner we rectify the FACT that we are abusing the planet into a veritable hell hole the better.

    "Does man's actions on the environment pose the greatest threat?"

    Yes. In several arenas.

    "One other issue should be mentioned. Many scientists have a vested interest to prove global warming. If it is not an issue they will be without a job. I would specifically point out the UN scientists. If global warming is not an issue their funding will cease immediately. I do not believe that their research is not impacted by this pressure! "

    Who has more of a vested interest? A few near poverty level scientists (as an engineer you might be familiar with these people) who have to listen to this crap every day? Or the big oil businesses (or any non renewable resource) who have bought all of America's politicians and are now having to defend themselves against bare data? Let's weigh them. A few million in grants spread out over ALL applicable scientists or several billion amassed in the hands of a few? By your carrot leading the donkey argument no scientist would have started looking into the matter in the first place!!

    At least I can agree with you about the need for care with future casting with models. I must point out that the models are not what is being relied upon here. It is the trend and the rate of change. RAPID climate change in one direction. The most definable etiology for the observations is the presence of humans and our love of cheap energy.

    If there is no merit in the AGW argument then there will be cleaner air with diminished huge health risks (among others). If there is merit (and the recommendations are enforced and they work) then there will be clean air and we can stop worrying about NY city being partially submerged.

    logicman
    Who has more of a vested interest? A few near poverty level scientists (as an engineer you might be familiar with these people) who have to listen to this crap every day? Or the big oil businesses (or any non renewable resource) who have bought all of America's politicians and are now having to defend themselves against bare data? Let's weigh them. A few million in grants spread out over ALL applicable scientists or several billion amassed in the hands of a few? By your carrot leading the donkey argument no scientist would have started looking into the matter in the first place!!

    I would say that's a good rebuttal to 'science conspiracy' theories, but I have to declare an interest: I am a near poverty level engineer who writes science articles about how AGW is driving climate change. ;-)
    Hank
    You make some wonderful points but I think climate scientists celebrating this are missing a key point - and a panel declaring, for the third time, that no one did anything technically illegal or fraudulent, despite the fact that any corporate CEO who did what Phil Jones did would be in jail, is doing climate science a disservice.   Instead Sir Muir Russell, as neutral an arbiter as can be found (since he had no links to either side that anyone could find), admonished Jones for pushing others to delete e-mails that might provide ammunition to skeptics, and said the University of East Anglia had been "unhelpful" in dealing with Freedom of Information Act requests, which Britain's data-protection watchdog has also flagged.

    How can that be a disservice to science?  The same way a Bush panel cleared the Bush administration of any misunderstanding about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.    What did anyone expect to get?    It made everyone look dishonest and not just the perpetrators.

    Saying the only thing anyone did wrong was not showing how data had been spliced together to make a hockey stick, when they themselves called it a trick and did not mention the trick for 10 years while it was on magazine covers, is a terrific policy fumble because it simply reaffirms the beliefs of the faithful yet does nothing at all to make the people whose faith in science neutrality has been shaken or to feel like climate science is looking out for integrity.   And there are a lot more of them voting than people who can understand the nuances of the atmosphere.

    The guy will not only not be censured, he will be reinstated, which means everything East Anglia produces is now discredited whether it is accurate or not.    This goofiness has set us all back by more than a decade and that is a shame.   But they did it to themselves.
    Stellare
    Well, thank you Hank! :-) There are certain things in your comment I am wondering about.

    "despite the fact that any corporate CEO who did what Phil Jones did
    would be in jail"


    Following normal juridical systems you have to do a crime, even a pretty serious crime, in order to be imprisoned. Jones has not broken the law so I do not see why anybody should send him to jail?

    "did not mention the trick for 10 years while it was on magazine covers"

    This is wrong Hank, the information about the 'trick' and everything else was in the publications from the scientists. Sir Muir Russell said that the information should have been made more easily accessible either directly in the graph or at least in the caption in order not to be misleading.

    One could discuss whether it was a good strategy to use the hockey stick graph way of representing their findings. I honestly don't know. Personally I prefer not to be 'screamed' at, I get the points with more subtle communication. For me Al Gores presentation of this graph was really over the top, but I figured maybe that is what it takes to get people's attention to a problem that is slowly creeping up on us and thus lack the drama of earthquakes and the likes.

    And you know what they say - All publicity is good publicity.

    Time will show. :-)


    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Hank
    Following normal juridical systems you have to do a crime, even a pretty serious crime, in order to be imprisoned. Jones has not broken the law so I do not see why anybody should send him to jail?
    Not at all, it has to cost people money and intentionally conspiring to hide information that skeptics might use means money - and a lot of it - got spent on an issue that was valid but not aired fairly.  Had this information been withheld from any government panel in the US by a corporation, they would be in jail.   Mann appeared many times, though obviously the Brits not at all.
    "did not mention the trick for 10 years while it was on magazine covers" 

    This is wrong Hank, the information about the 'trick' and everything else was in the publications from the scientists.
    There was not a single mention of this by any climate scientist in any popular media despite the fact that everyone knew it?  In 2005, RealClimate.org, written by climate scientists, discusses in "What If … the “Hockey Stick” Were Wrong?" that there is still a hockey stick if the medieval warming period were not included - no mention at all that the data since the 1960s and the data before then to make the hockey stick were pieced together and would not look like a hockey stick otherwise.   So James Hansen, Gavin Schmidt, etc. chose not to even address it time and again on their blog.   Mann himself in 2006 said "more widespread high-resolution data are needed before more confident conclusions can be reached and that the uncertainties were the point of the article" after his 1998 claims were disputed by multiple sources because of his fuzzy method.  Yet he appeared in panel after panel as The Man Behind The Hockey Stick.    :)

    I get your points and I am not trying to come across as the anti-science guy, but I am always going to be the 'tell people the truth and they will do the right thing' guy.

    These climate scientists failed the ethics test and had they been at least censured for it, some credibility in the transparency of the system and desire to put truth before advocacy first would be restored.  Instead, E Anglia absolved an E Anglia guy, which hardly looks legitimate.
    Stellare
    Well, Hank, I meant to respond to this a while back. You see, I have a hard time understanding exactly what your problem with CRU and global warming is. So, I went to Realclimate where Gavin Smith et co resides and asked them directly about the hockeystick in the WMO report.

    Gavin Smith answered (as you can see in the link above) - and so did a couple of others.

    From these responses and checks and double checks of the science literature, it seems that the only time they could find there were misleading graph was in that 1999 WMO report. That is not a scientific report so normally the science is described in shorter terms. It hasn't been relevant to mention this particular graph (in the WMO 1999 report) since the information has been there in all the other context, particularly in the IPCC reports.

    By the way, in my reading list there is a link to all the WMO reports -including the 1999 one.

    Realclimate has a new article on the famous hockey stick here.

    I can assure you though, that you do not come across as the anti-science guy. :-)

    Maybe it is my limited mastery of the English language that prevent me from understanding your points in this case, Hank.

    Or maybe you just are more trigger happy than me. :-) Me. Who just found some pictures of me and my son playing with real cowboys in Texas, shooting with revolvers and throwing dynamite on the prairie - for no reason at all.
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Hank
    I have nothing against any group but I am for transparency and honesty.    The example I use if you or I are asked to guess how many jelly beans are in a jar, we are unlikely to be close to the correct answer, but if we take 500 people, scientists or not, and have them make an estimate, the mean of their answers will be so accurate it is baffling.  So it goes with making the right decision on climate policy - give people the problem and it may only be 51-49% but most of the time the correct answer comes out, even if various people are shouting answers at them.

    There was so much concern that Exxon or whoever would undercut valid research people were happy to either whitewash bad things or cherrypick results and this is the price climate science has had to pay.   They can all pretend this is behind them but letting even a small group engage in that conduct without self-policing sets advancement in environmental solutions back a decade.  Even lawyers police each other better than climate science has done.
     
    Give people the data, no Frankenstein graphs or statistical trickery, and the right thing will happen.   In business, we say it takes 2 months to gain a customer's trust and 5 years to get it back if you lose it.    Voters are the customers here because they have to buy into a solution and know it has been made impartially and for the right reasons.

    Gavin is completely correct in that temperatures from 100 years ago have not changed because of statistical voodoo, though saying they were' accurate' 100 years ago the same way they are accurate today ... well, if skeptics used that sort of claim he would clobber them.   But the graph that was hacked together just happens to be the one everyone used and the people who disputed it were 'Holocaust deniers' ... until it turned out they were right.   And I think that has been a setback for the good science that has been done showing climate change.
    Stellare
    I do not think anybody are against transparency and honesty - on the contrary.

    It seems to me that you are barking up the wrong tree. I don't know if you took a look at my video (included in the article) where I try to explain how data policy works - and who is repsonsible for it, but if you want to change the current policies you need to bark at politicians, not scientists.

    As for the graph mentioned in the Sir Muir Russell report, it is the same graph as in the IPCC and scientific journals, the only difference is that in the WMO 1999 report they did not include all explanations. Which is reasonable when considering what kind of publication that is. Definitely at the time. Had they known about all the fuzz some 10 years later they might have chosen to make an exception and included more details. That is my guess. ;-)
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    logicman
    Bente:  good analysis!

    You've covered most of the points that I was going to raise - but you beat me to publication.  I hate you for that. ;-)

    They simply went ahead and physically demonstrated that the information was there. That included showing that anyone with appropriate competence could easily reproduce program codes that also were asked for and claimed to be non-rightfully held back.


    This brilliant communication stunt, kills two flies by one hit (as we say in Norway): first it shows that sufficient data is clearly already there openly available and accessible to anyone who would be interested in getting it.
    ...
    Second, the stunt demonstrates that if you have the necessary knowledge to even have an opinion on CRU's work, you would be able to verify or falsify their work based on information CRU actually made available.  Ridiculously easy. If you are not able to do this  you are maybe not in a position to judge?

    That was roughly my take on it, reading between the lines.  Nicely put!

    I hate flying.  If the seats are too close together for your 1.73 meters, think how much worse it is for my 0.00934343434 furlongs.  :-)
    Stellare
    Thanks, Patrick. No need for hate, though. :-) I've included a link to your article on FoIA already.

    And I was going to ask you a favor, or make a suggestion to you. I wanted to include a link to all your Arctic Ice articles - in one link. That means it would be extremely helpful, and maybe even useful for you, to create a post with links to all your updates on the Arctic Ice. I'd include it in my reading list at the bottom of my article. I find these kind of reading list very useful. How about it? :-)

    As much as I support the metric system, I'd love to have furlongs, too! It sounds really, really nice to have furlongs. :-)

    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    logicman
    it would be extremely helpful, and maybe even useful for you, to create a post with links to all your updates on the Arctic Ice.

    Bente: I've been thinking for some time that I need index pages.  You've twisted my arm.  I'll get on it soon.
    logicman
    Bente: I've just posted a page of links as a blog: The ChatterBox Arctic Index.

    If there are any errors or bad links - blame the guy who wrote the programming language that I used to extract the Arctic-themed links from the web pages.  If there are no errors, I'm happy to take all the credit. ;-)

    I hope to do a climate-themed index very soon.
    Stellare
    A few days back, I included your article in the reading list at the bottom of my article. Thanks, Patrick! :-)
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    rholley
    Perhaps my brain is sluggish, or too full of other things, but what exactly is supposed to be wrong with the hockey-stick graph?  (Seriously – I can’t see what all the hoo-ha is about.)


    Two other thoughts:


    (1) You say “I'm 1.73 m tall (go metric )”: 
    which makes you not far short of 6 metric feet = 180 cm.

    (2) From a textbook, written when we have all been replaced by evolved rats:


    “50 million years ago our planet was heading towards a repeat of the Snowball Earth catastrophe of 700 million years previous.  This was forestalled by industrialized humans pumping large quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to trap heat radiation.”
    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    Stellare
    Robert, I do not really understand the fuzz either, except maybe that someone find it inconvenient that the temperature is rising. For what ever reason.

    Below is a graph that shows a bit more variations in earlier times. The IPCC version (in my article) is more 'flat' until recent times.
    So, nobody (serious) disagree with the numbers (largely speaking), it is merely a discussion of how dramatic you make your graph.

    I really tried to find out what made people so furious about this graph, and the hacked emails for that matter, and I cannot with my best effort find any substantial arguments or findings. I attached a couple of links to what seems to be the most serious groups among the skeptics, but I found nothing. I assumed they would be able to find the horrible stuff, if there were any.

    I suspect it is a 'holy' mix of motives and angles to this topic. The following two questions mixed in one:  Is the temperature rising? and the other Why is temperature rising?.  I'm solely talking about the fact that temperature is observed beyond any doubt to be rising. That's it. No fuzz. :-)



    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Bente,
    I think this reconstructed temperature graph is seriously flawed. To get an accurate view of the average temperature you need many temperature readings not only over the space of interest but over time. We really only have good data over the last 50 years and even some would debate this. A friend of mine likes to make a distinction between science #1 and science #2. Science #1 is the kind that you can test in the lab and get hard data that backs it up. Science #2 is the more fuzzy kind where you can make casual relations but you really cannot back them up from the lab. This graph is science #2 that is more ambiguous. There is no way to go back into time and take readings to confirm it - that the relations hold over time.

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Bente, have you read Ian Plimer's book 'heaven+earth Global Warming: The Missing Science'? If so, what do you think of it? Professor Ian Plimer (School of Eartb and Environmental Sciences, The University of Adelaide) is also Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne and has been Professor and Head at several other Australian universities so his academic credentials are very good. Even so my university does not stock one copy of the book and wouldn't order one in at my request. I had to buy my own copy. Professor Plimer argues that the climate change we are experiencing is not unprecedented in history or outside the range of normal variability, and he rejects the idea that the explanation of climate change can be reduced to one variable, carbon dioxide. Instead he believes that climate change is cyclical and driven by Erath's position in the galaxy, the Sun, wobbles in the Earth's orbit, ocean currents and plate tectonics. I guess you could say he is a climate change caused by humans skeptic which is different to a climate skeptic or is it? I still have an open mind on this subject, even though I strongly believe that man is wreaking havoc on this planet with environmental degradation and extinction of species like my own. Anything that will make mankind stop and think about how he is wiping out so many habitats and species is great, however false claims for man-made climate change are not going to help my cause in the long run, especially if they are proved to be wrong.
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Stellare
    Helen, I have not read Plimer's book, but the arguments put forward are not new to me. As a solar physicist very much aware of the Earth dependence on our Sun, I would definitely consider direct and indirect effects of the Sun in somewhat more detail than I have seen done today.

    I would really like the discussion about global warming to be more focused on facts, rather than politics. We miss opportunities to act wisely to the challenges ahead of us the way we are handling this today.

    Appreciating the fact that the planet is getting warmer (if it is cyclic or man-made is not the key issue in this context) and relate to the complexity of the system Earth, I would include not only the geophysical elements, but also the social and economic aspects.

    Let's say climate change is mainly man-made, do we know how the planet will react to it - or will we ever be able to know it sufficiently well to make sound decisions  based on this knowledge?

    Let's say the natural signals and variations are order of magnitudes bigger than man-made effects, shall we just raise our hands and say 'tough luck'?

    At the end of my article I point to the direction I find interesting, namely start to develop tools that enable us to create resilience. How do we handle the uncertainty and how can we adapt to living on a planet that might experience dramatic changes - or not!

    Our management of the planets resources, pollution, etc are other issues that often are mixed in the discussion on climate change.
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    My understanding of your position is that it is not important to understand what is driving the earth's climate, my entire career has been based on understanding what is causing a particular problem prior to taking action. This helps to prevent taking actions which make the situation worse and greatly increases the odds of success. We have plenty of examples demonstrating the catastrophes caused by taking action without regard to secondary and even tertiary effects. What has been demonstrated by the years of climate study is that this is a very complex system and anyone who thinks carbon dioxide is a major driver is not paying attention.

    Stellare
    " it is not important to understand what is driving the earth's climate"

    No, this is not what I am saying. Of course we need to keep on studying the system. My point is that we cannot expect to understand the COMPLEX system (maybe not ever) soon enough to wait with relating to it. Scenarios and building systems that are resilient will allow us adapt and prepare our society. We need to handle uncertainties better than today.
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Whoops, sorry about posting that twice but until now I have always had to press the post comment box twice to get one post. Looks like that bug has been fixed, thanks Patrick.
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Stellare
    Hi Helen, I messaged Hank about the disappearing comment. Suddenly I feel like a CRU employee deleting emails. hahaha Almost spooky.

    I was going to reply on your comment, that is why I wanted to clean up and get rid of the duplicate.

    Again, I am sorry for the loss. there. I don't suppose you wrote the comment in another document? It was a long one, too.

    Bente
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Hank
    It's BenteGate!!  I knew Science 2.0 was next!
    Stellare
    Hahahaha. I think I have to stop working on this Climategate thing...It is brushing off! :-)
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Bente, can you delete the duplicate second post? It would make things clearer.
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Stellare
    I don't know what happened. I deleted ONE of the duplicate comments, but both seem to be gone now. I'll ask Hank if he has a possibility to find it and publish it. Sorry. I was on the job before you asked me. :-)
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Hi Bente, thanks for explaining what happened, I’m sure it was an accident and not anything more sinister like Bentegate! I think this is roughly what I said in the deleted post ….. Bente, I think you were a bit quick to dismiss the Independent Climate Change Email Review Report Findings see http://www.cce-review.org/ when you said :- Quote “The CRU gang was accused of holding back their data. In earlier articles Climategate - The Truth About Transparency and Climategate - To Share Or Not To Share, I argue that they cannot be held responsible for inaccessible data, as it was not in their powers to share. The Independent Climate Change Email Review support this view.“On the allegation of withholding temperature data, we find that CRU was not in a position to withhold access to such data or tamper with it." I think that the report showed that the scientists lacked transparency and by their own admission they were opposed to science blogs, the web and open discussion with skeptics. The report points out that “If peer review is subverted to exclude apparently well-founded alternative views, or if journal editors are intimidated from considering their publication, progress on an important issue such as climate change can be seriously slowed or skewed.” I have included some of the relevant quotes supporting this from the report below. :- Report Findings Quote “13. Climate science is a matter of such global importance, that the highest standards of honesty, rigour and openness are needed in its conduct. On the specific allegations made against the behaviour of CRU scientists, we find that their rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt.” Quote “14. In addition, we do not find that their behaviour has prejudiced the balance of advice given to policy makers. In particular, we did not find any evidence of behaviour that might undermine the conclusions of the IPCC assessments.” Quote “15. But we do find that there has been a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness, both on the part of the CRU scientists and on the part of the UEA, who failed to recognise not only the significance of statutory requirements but also the risk to the reputation of the University and, indeed, to the credibility of UK climate science." Quote “18. On the allegation of withholding station identifiers we find that CRU should have made available an unambiguous list of the stations used in each of the versions of the Climatic Research Unit Land Temperature Record (CRUTEM) at the time of publication. We find that CRU‟s responses to reasonable requests for information were unhelpful and defensive." Quote “23. On the allegation that the references in a specific e-mail to a „trick‟ and to„hide the decline‟ in respect of a 1999 WMO report figure show evidence of intent to paint a misleading picture, we find that, given its subsequent iconic significance (not least the use of a similar figure in the IPCC Third Assessment Report), the figure supplied for the WMO Report was misleading. We do not find that it is misleading to curtail reconstructions at some point per se, or to splice data, but we believe that both of these procedures should have been made plain – ideally in the figure but certainly clearly described in either the caption or the text." Quote “In an e-mail dated 6/5/99 (926031061.txt) Jones wrote: “I must admit to having little regard for the Web. Living over here makes that easier than in the US - but I would ignore the so-called skeptics until they get to the peer-review arena. I know this is harder for you in the US and it might become harder still at your new location. I guess it shows though that what we are doing in [sic] important. The skeptics are fighting a losing battle.” Quote “In an e-mail dated 30/9/09 (1254323180.txt) Jones wrote: “Another issue is science by blog sites - and the then immediate response mode. Science ought to work through the peer-review system..... sure you've said all these things before. We're getting a handful of nasty emails coming and requests for comments on other blog sites.” Quote “ In an email to Mann on 8th July 2004, Jones wrote: "The other paper by MM is just garbage. [...] I can't see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!" The allegation is of an attempt to prevent ideas being published and the author being prepared to subvert the peer review process for a journal and to undermine the IPCC principle of accounting properly for contradictory views.” Quote “Critics of CRU claimed that they were unable to reproduce CRU‘s work due to a lack of access to data. The UK EIR and FoIA35 should have encouraged the release of information, but this does not seem to have been the initial result. The volume of requests grew over time, more formally under the FoIA starting in 2007 and spectacularly in 2009, particularly related to details of the CRUTEM land temperature datasets” Quote “2. The processes whereby new scientific concepts are peer-reviewed and published can be complex, contentious and partial (see Chapter 5 and Appendix 5). Peer review is not a ―gold standard‖ that ensures validity, as some claim. The processes of testing, validation and replication are the means whereby error is discarded, uncertainty reduced and robust scientific progress made. Peer review attempts initial sieving-out of the demonstrably erroneous or trivial, thereby setting a high standard that encourages rigour. But it is not infallible. Many well-founded concepts are rejected and many erroneous ideas accepted.”
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Stellare
    Hi Helen,

    Thanks for the repeat. :-)

    First of all, I think your random quotes might be misleading since they are a mix of
    discussions and conclusions. :-)

    I did of course read the Independent Climate Change Email Report (ICCER) (I have a couple of links for it in my article, too) and I was not too quick to conclude - I did quote the exact wordings (conclusions) from the report. I also checked the availability of data myself and I know more than is covered in the report. Since I have experience with collecting sea level data, another Essential Climate Variable, I have first hand knowledge about what obstacles there are to overcome in sharing data.

    I also say that CRU et al might have been acting hostile and juvenile. ('unhelpful and defensive' is used by ICCER) What I perhaps also should have said, that is dealt with by the ICCER, is that the poor scientists were bombarded with hostile and juvenile emails and requests. Ideally, they should be immune against that kind of behavior and acted more soberly, but as I say they are human after all.

    I will refrain from judging their behavior. We do not know everything here. Not even with the hacked emails.

    What is important is that no misconduct or scientific fraud have been found. And the data that is possible to share, is accessible.

    I've seen that many people lack knowledge about data and data policy.

    Those who scream for more raw data should know about the process in GEO and the European Commission etc and, not the least, all the restriction on data sharing that their very own government impose on them. It is not up to scientists to decide these data policies. That is a political decision.

    As should be evident from my articles, I am in favor of greater openness, particularly when it comes to sharing Earth observation data.
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Hank
    Those who scream for more raw data should know about the process in GEO and the European Commission etc and, not the least, all the restriction on data sharing that their very own government impose on them. It is not up to scientists to decide these data policies. That is a political decision.
    Raw data is a good point.    I don't mean the policy aspects, I mean that a lot of climate researchers are not statistical experts so turning over data to people with even less understanding of both numerical models and statistics would be even worse for a rational discourse.

    In the future, we may see more open discussion of how some of the more ridiculous numerical model results from the last 10 years were derived.   One benefit to all this is that, knowing the level of skepticism that East Anglia will now have regarding anything it writes, they may in the future discuss how they picked their data points and how the numerical modelers were created, rather than telling everyone it is a black box and too competitive to disclose.
    Stellare
    I would be careful with putting on a 'we-share-absolutely-all-our-data-with-everyone' glory on my head, Hank! ;-) I mean, do I need to remind you when the US decided, finally, to release higher resolution GPS data? :-)

    At IPY Oslo Science Conference, the US reported that after releasing more data (that was previously unavailable), they observed a tremendous increase of downloads overall. It is rather obvious, but I mention it just to illustrate that even the US has a way to go. US being the best pupil in this class. :-)

    The questions about data, raw data, meta data, you have it, is not a simple one. It is not as if an expert in statistics would save the world here for instance. She would most definitely contribute to improve results, but it is a tad more complicated I'm afraid. I do agree that more interdisciplinary work is recommendable, but statistics is not going to provide the correct graph all by themselves.

    By the way, how do you qualify this statement?

    " the more ridiculous numerical model"

    The quality of the science will continue to be judged by the peer review system. No committee without proper expertise will be able to do that work for you.

    It is not a black box there for those with actual expertise as far as I can see. And partly demonstrated by the ICCER.

    Again, greater openness is wanted - AND forcing its way by the blogosphere. That is not a bad thing. The latter I mean.

    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Hello Bente,

    There is clearcut proof in the climategate emails for email deletion after the FIOA request. This is illegal and should be punished. Here are two emails written by Jones:

    "Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis. Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same?"

    "About 2 months ago I deleted loads of emails, so have very little - if anything at all. "

    Just google the phrases and read the emails for yourself. I would have liked to know what was in those emails they wrote in connection to the IPCC fourth assessment report. That there was prima facie evidence for scientific misconduct was also concluded by the FOIA commissioner. Read paragraph 51 in this commissioner document:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jul/07/hacked-climate-science...

    This is blatantly obvious from the emails of course anyway except for people who are not interested in
    facts.

    Then Jones et al also withheld codes and data. As is clearly evidence by the emails the climategate scientists actually actively sought not to share the data and carefully coordinated efforts to hide data. I'll show more emails if you like! But as a exercise why don't you find and read them your self here

    http://eastangliaemails.com/

    The hiding of data and code was the very reason a FOIA was filed. This is against the principles of science but also of the guidlines of the IPCC which was heavily influence by the climategate scientists.

    I think you are very shortsighted. In the long run you do not help the cause by protecting scientific misconduct. You only participate in damaging the reputation of climatologists and science in general. Your article above is like reading a creationist blog. Why are you not interested in the facts of scientific misconduct? Why did you not bother to read the emails yourself?

    It is very important to show the public that this kind of is behavior is not acceptable nor standard among scientists. The question how much we change the planet, and what we should do about it is so important that you cannot allow such low standards.

    Also, FORCE yourself to read both sides. Here is a list of 750 peer reviewed papers that are on the skeptics side of the debate.

    http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting...

    Stellare
    Hello Whomever Is Hiding Behind Haze,

    I'm afraid you are wrong about what FoIA implies.

    For instance the example provided by The Guardian that you point to, only confirm that UEA should have answered those who asked for information within 20 days. It does not imply that what was asked for should have been given. Because, you see, the FoIA does not imply that the public have the right to ALL information. There are naturally restrictions. Otherwise the spies of this world would be out of a job, for instance. Read the FoIA.

    We have a similar law in Norway, a law that is breached by governmental bodies many times by the way, and that is that you have the right for an answer within one month. If the governmental body cannot answer you within these days, they shall indicate when you will be getting an answer. It is however, just that. That you shall get an answer, not that you can have exactly what you asked for in your request.

    Clearly you do not want to understand the issues related to data and data policy. That is covered extensively in my video. And also in the Independent Climate Change Email Review.

    I have read both sides (see some of my sources in the reading list). I have read plenty of emails, counting on the critical side to find the most terrible ones proving misconduct etc etc. They are just not there. As have been found by three inquiries (see also links in the reading list)

    Judged by your wordings, you are not acting the way you ask others to act.
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Bente,

    When a scientific article is published other scientist should have free access to all data and code. Now, as you have just stated in your response, you do not think that that is terribly important. In your article you also make apologies for researchers that do not follow this principle. That means that you do not support one of the basic principles of science. Freedom of information.

    That you refer to the FIOA laws instead of this basic scientific principle is both remarkable and disappointing. Just think of the people who read your comments. You're telling them that actively hiding data from colleagues is normal practice in science. By this you are participating in damaging the reputation and credibility of science.

    This sentence

    "I argue that they cannot be held responsible for inaccessible data, as it was not in their powers to share."

    in your article is not in accordance with the facts easily found in the climategate emails. It would be nice if you in your reply could display the emails showing how the climategate scientists were actively trying to prevent data (in their possession) to be shared. Be sure to quote the most damaging ones. If you don't I can of course do it instead. But it would give your readers a much better impression if you do it. You need to be brutally honest here.

    Here is another quote from your article:

    "The hockey stick graph has been attacked by those who deny that climate is changing."

    In the scientific literature it was attacked by McIntyre and Mckitrick. Neither of these deny that the climate is changing nor that it is warming. That the climate is not changing or currently warming is not at all a widespread belief among skeptics.

    Why do you feel the need to misrepresent the skeptics side? You see, there is a very good reason *not* to: By showing that you have a desire to smear and misrepresent the opposing side you are also showing the readers that you are unable to be objective and fair. After this, how are the readers supposed to trust what you write? These readers might turn into hard nosed skeptics who simply won't listen to anything you say, and in extrapolation also climate scientists in general. If you ever wondered why there are so many amateur skeptics out there, I've just given you one of the key answers.

    It is important that this is given a moment of reflection and contemplation. This issue of climate change is so important that you cannot allow these low standards. Anyway, that's my position.

    Hank
    Why do you feel the need to misrepresent the skeptics side? You see, there is a very good reason *not* to: By showing that you have a desire to smear and misrepresent the opposing side you are also showing the readers that you are unable to be objective and fair. After this, how are the readers supposed to trust what you write? 
    You seemed to be going all nicely and then went off the reservation and into shrill conspiratorial kook.  How could this be a "smear"?  I had plenty of criticisms and he responses were measured and fair.   

    The plain fact is this 'debate' comes down along political lines rather than scientific ones - the only debate is the level of warming.  Do I think the people in ClimateGate should have gotten worse than they did?  Sure, they set policy back a decade ... but they made no difference in the science at all.    And that is what counts here.
    Gerhard Adam
    These readers might turn into hard nosed skeptics who simply won't listen to anything you say, and in extrapolation also climate scientists in general. If you ever wondered why there are so many amateur skeptics out there, I've just given you one of the key answers.
    That statement is simply foolish.  To ignore data because of personalities and individuals is about as silly as one can get.   Stop behaving like a petulant child and get over the naive shock that scientists are also human beings.  If you can't separate the data from the people, then you aren't ready for an analysis anyway.

    People should never listen to what someone says except within the context of what the evidence shows. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Stellare
    "To ignore data because of personalities and individuals is about as silly as one can get."

    So true. Separating the person from the subject/object your are studying is basic scientific method.

    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Stellare
    Still in the haze,

    You are both not referring to my article correctly, nor my comments and points of view that is repeated over and over again. This way of communicating is one of the reasons why the skeptics side and many of those who attack CRU cannot and will not be taken seriously.

    Do not preach scientific method to me when you obviously have no idea what neither science nor scientific method are.

    I will let your low standards comment speak for itself.

    Thank you!

    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Hank,

    I very much agree with your second paragraph but not with the first. I did not push "conspiracy theories" in my post. I was simply trying to make Bente aware that misrepresenting the other side is not helping. It is only making things worse. Credibility is restored by showing that this is not common practice among most climatologists. This is particularly important since these scientists were very close to the IPCC.

    In my opinion it would be helpful if the climategate scientists were removed from the IPCC process. Also Pachauri is very unprofessional when he calls skeptics "flat earthers" and the like. IPCC should have a professional spokes(wo)man who sticks to the facts and does not indulge in name calling. That does not help.

    Hank
    I do agree with this part.   Throwing off everyone on the IPCC committee in 2001 who did not want to vote on how bad things would be and instead wanted to be scientific did not help the credibility of climate science but it got much worse at its peak in 2007 when they didn't even need to publish results and media talking points were facts.

    I have also argued that censure of some sort - any - would have been better than what appears to critics to be a whitewash because East Anglia will be able to publish literally nothing that will not be precluded with ClimateGate references.  But they have done it to themselves and here is hoping that the many climate researchers not engaged in a culture war stick to data.   It is going to be a much longer, and slower, battle because of this nonsense, yet the shrill militants declared it a victory that he was 'cleared' of wrongdoing.
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Sorry if my random quotes were misleading, its just a long report and I just picked out the sections that I thought showed a lack of transparency by the scientists under investigation. Similarly I have just randomly picked an email to read from the hundreds of East Anglia Confirmed Emails under Page 43 Filenames: from the Climate Research Unit See http://eastangliaemails.com/ It makes very interesting reading for a completely random selection. I apologise in advance Bente for again only selecting the sections of this email that I found interesting and maybe taking them out of context but I felt like sharing them here. As I mentioned in an earlier post I still have an open mind about man-made climate change but I find it worrying when scientists won’t communicate with other scientists just because they have opposing viewpoints, and the way that these guys are talking to eachother implies a definite lack of flexibility in this department. As I also mentioned earlier, my university and local library doesn’t even stock a highly contentious book that opposes the view that climate-change is being caused by humans called ‘heaven+earth’ written by an an Emeritus Professor in Australia, Ian Plimer, simply because his viewpoint is so unpopular in Australia. Here’s a couple of excerpts from 1255530325.txt / 14 Oct 2009 see http://eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=1053&filename=1255530325.txt Quote “How come you do not agree with a statement that says we are no where close to knowing where energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter. We are not close to balancing the energy budget. The fact that we can not account for what is happening in the climate system makes any consideration of geoengineering quite hopeless as we will never be able to tell if it is successful or not! It is a travesty!” Quote “The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.” Quote You may be aware of this already. Paul Hudson, BBCs reporter on climate change, on Friday wrote that theres been no warming since 1998, and that pacific oscillations will force cooling for the next 20-30 years. It is not outrageously biased in presentation as are other skeptics views. [5]http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8299079.stm” I don’t know who the authors of the emails are so I guess its all pretty meaningless but it is still an interesting discussion taking place.
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Stellare
    Hi Helen,

    It is clear that plenty of the hacked emails show arrogance and unwillingness to share. And Phil Jones also admits that he wrote some awful emails. I refer to those aspects as 'hostile and juvenile' for short and argue that the climate in highly competitive communities, like the scientific or in corporate or political ones for that matter, is rather tough. And humans are humans.

    However, it doesn't mean they did not share the data that was open to the public. It has been demonstrated that they did share. And that is my point. I happen to know that sharing data is not straight forward as Earth observation data often is subjected to national laws and regulations preventing sharing. CRU did even try to release more data by asking the providers to do so. And was denied (eventually some was approved). Yet, there is sufficient data made publicly available (by CRU) to reproduce the scientific results that CRU published.

    The science is conducted according to ruling principles.

    Fair criticism should and must be allowed. The big debate is not whether it is getting warmer or not, but mostly about why (and a little bit on how much). If we take the hockey stick for instance, that has been used as an argument that the warming is humanly induced. So people mix this up with the question if or how much it is warming.

    I am not going to go into that debate. I am concerned with data policy, and in my view Climategate illustrate many of the problems that needs to be addressed - by policymakers and politicians.

    As for your library, I think it would be wise to include the serious critical literature. :-)

     





    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Thanks Bente, I find it reassuring that you are convinced that it has been demonstrated that the scientists did share their data. With regard to the causes of golbal warming, many scientists do not seem to accept that C02 is the culprit. Ian Plimer and many other scientists argue against the CO2 causing warming. What is your opinion on CO2? See http://www.populartechnology.net/2008/11/carbon-dioxide-co2-is-not-pollu... "To state in public that carbon dioxide is a pollutant is a public advertisement of a lack of basic school child science. Pollution kills, carbon dioxide leads to the thriving of life on Earth and increased biodiversity. Carbon dioxide is actually plant food." - Ian R. Plimer, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Stellare
    Helen, you ask me "What is your opinion on CO2?"

    I do not wish to discuss the causes of global warming here. My points are mainly that there is global warming, the science is as sound as it gets, data should be made easier available and we should focus more on handling the uncertainties.

    I can say as much as C02 is a natural part of the Earth system, nobody denies that.
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Bente you say that "The only difference between children's Kindergartens and adult's Kindergartens is perhaps that adults are better at covering up their motives and actions, often through more sophisticated language". It seems to me that that is what you are doing here. You keep insisting that you want to address 'the handling the uncertainties' of climate change but not the causes or even realities of whether it is indeed even occurring. That is the same as saying that someone wants to handle the uncertainties of war and not the realities of whether war is occurring or the causes of that war. It is also the same as wanting to handle the uncertainties of famine or forest degradation but not the causes or realities of why they are occurring. What's the point in just addressing the uncertainties of something and not the causes and realities behind them? I am a bonobo, my forest and habitat are being destroyed by you human beings who are desperately trying to survive in your crazy, modern, capitalistic, consumer world. The uncertainty of my situation certainly needs addressing but only by people who are interested in understanding the causes and realities of my situation. The uncertainties of my situation are as to whether I will even live a natural lifespan and see my children grow up or whether like 90% of my fellow bonobos in the last decade, I will be hunted and die prematurely with no offspring and my species of only 10,000 rrmaining peace loving, altruistic, empathic, sexy bonobos will become extinct. The uncertainties of extinction then become pretty certain to those of us who have become extinct and also to you humans who even bother to notice and commiserate our extinction. We have 99.4% of our DNA in common with you humans but our future is still dismal. It is almost certain so who cares about uncertainties other than you?
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Stellare
    Helen,

    You misrepresent my views when you say:

    "You keep insisting that you want to address 'the handling the uncertainties' of climate change but not the causes or even realities of whether it is indeed even occurring."

    Firstly, I say I do not wish to address causes here, under my heading "Do you believe in global warming? Climategate revisited - Again". I am not saying that the issue shouldn't be addressed. Big difference.

    I am indeed addressing the realities: the planet is getting warmer. One of my key points in this very article. I do not understand how you can turn that into me not wanting to address realities?!

    Moreover, uncertainties are part of the reality. I would actually argue that those who refuse to accept this are ignoring essential facts.

    Ignoring these facts will endanger your species bonobo. :-)

    Am I the only one who cares about uncertainties? I don't think so: Tracking down the uncertainties in weather and climate predictions.
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    I'm sorry Bente, but I really don't understand how uncertainties can be facts other than it is a fact that we are uncertain? Why are you so interested in whether we believe in global warming? Its a bit like asking if we believe in God. That belief has to be based upon evidence. Even if I believe that global warming exists or that a God exists, my belief might be completely unfounded. I am much more interested in whether there is evidence of global warming and what caused it and whether there is evidence of a God and what created her than in the uncertainty of God. Anyway, I have really enjoyed this blog, it has raised some interesting questions, for me anyway, and I hope that you will write more blogs around this subject. I think I understand that you are saying that we are uncertain about the causes of global warming but in the meantime if we believe that it is happening then we need to be doing something about these uncertainties. Is that right?
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Stellare
    There is at least one big difference between global warming and God. The first is a subject of science, the second a subject of religion.

    My very point by referring to the question I got on the plane from Bergen (Do you believe in global warming?) was to show that it is not a question of belief. It is a proven matter of fact.

    One can neither prove that there is a God or isn't a God. That is a matter of belief.

    We know for a fact that the planet is getting warmer. Scientist disagree to a certain degree on how much, but not whether it is getting warmer. At the end of my article I have included links to the independent studies that document these facts.

    How the Earth will react to this warming, and why it happens in the first place are subject to discussion and further studies. I did include a link, in my former reply, to a discussion about the uncertainties that lies in predicting what will happen to the planet in the future. In other words, how will the Earth system respond to rising temperatures.  The Earth system is so complex that it is very hard to say. That does not mean that we can't have fairly accurate knowledge (there will always be error-bars) about certain elements of the Earth system.

    So it is a combination of known facts and how these facts influence each other that eventually leaves us with uncertainty. That is a fact. :-)

    In my view we need to continue to study the Earth system to increase our knowledge (facts) and at the same time develop strategies and knowledge about how to handle uncertainties - because they will be there.

    I'm glad you enjoy the blog, and I will continue to write about science related to climate. :-)
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Gerhard Adam
    Bente

    Hopefully you won't think I'm being too picky, but I wanted to point out something specific.
    (Do you believe in global warming?) was to show that it is not a question of belief. It is a proven matter of fact.
    The problem here is that it IS largely a matter of belief, because few people are in a position to evaluate the data and come to an interpretation.  Therefore, the majority of people will be left to whatever "trusted" sources they have to consider the accuracy of the information being evaluated.

    I certainly agree with you that this "belief" is considerably more accurate that some of the other "beliefs" that people have, but nevertheless it is ultimately subject to our personal interpretation (beyond those individuals that possess the expertise to do better).

    This is precisely why there is such a high degree of controversy surrounding this topic.  Many people have taken the raw data, and added political spin and other agenda items, thereby enabling an interpretation of the "facts" in a way that allows for divergent views.  As a result, the "facts" are no longer solid entities, but become subject to the credibility of the individual expressing them.

    I realize that often such philosophical issues are looked down on, but it seems that this is at the heart of many of the problems our society faces.  We think that we can "prove" something to be true or false, and are then shocked to discover that many people are underwhelmed by our "proof".  As I've mentioned before, since no one can know enough about our planet to ever truly "know" everything, then the bulk of what we know is subject to our belief based on how trusted the source is.  Consequently credibility, even more than the information, becomes a key element of the process.

    It is far too easy for an expert to think that their evidence is beyond reproach and therefore should be intuitively obvious, however this is a naive perspective.  It should be clear that such evidence is only of value to the expert and something must coalesce out of this to be considered credible and believable by the majority of people.  Why should I believe one climate scientist over another?  There is no reason beyond the integrity that they bring to the discussion.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Stellare
    Gerhard,

    I am not particularly surprised that you had something to say about this when I went on with words like belief and knowledge, taken that you recently wrote this. :-)

    I'd say that global temperature falls in the category of 'knowledge' as you define it.

    You say:

    " few people are in a position to evaluate the data"
    and argue that therefor it will be a matter of belief.

    Then, if you are so stupid that you do not even understand what you see, you can ultimately say that it isn't knowledge, but just something somebody believe?

    It is ultimately a philosophical question, as you say; what do we know? Mark Changzi here on Science2.0 point to the fact that we might not know if we see the same thing - like colors.

    Yet, I'd say that temperature, sea level and other physical quantities that we can measure qualify as knowledge, rather than belief. Even some theories we are able to qualify as knowledge. However, models, like climate models with a number of unknowns only give us information that we can find more or less likely to be true - hence believe in. The models do qualify as knowledge in science though.

    I do understand your point, but I think it is unfortunate to use 'belief' the way you do in this context as I fear most people will not understand the philosophical aspects of this. (just look at some of the comment to this article)

    It is definitely something to consider when developing science communication strategies, though.


    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Gerhard Adam
    ...as I fear most people will not understand the philosophical aspects of this.
    Well, in the interest of clearing up a major misunderstanding that people may have.  NOTE:  Simply having a belief does NOT convey any legitimacy to such a belief.  The point is that ultimately our "beliefs" should be shaped by the acquisition of knowledge throughout our lives which renders them increasingly accurate as we learn more things.  There are certainly some things that we accept from other sources that we will never be able to confirm, but often these items will be viewed from the perspective of "does it make sense?", or in other words, is it consistent with our existing worldview (beliefs)?

    The primary reason for raising this point is that people process information based on their beliefs, because they don't have the actual data or knowledge to evaluate it directly.  Therefore a belief will never be changed by facts alone. 

    If you'll notice, the majority of the discussion does little to focus on the "knowledge" and almost everything to focus on the integrity of individuals as well as the political agenda that might be advanced.  So, let's also be clear about what many people are suggesting;  they are calling many of the researchers liars and accusing them of intentional deception to advance some agenda.  As a result, the data is going to be the least important element in advancing this discussion. 

    This is politics and legitimate science has little to do with people's perceptions at this stage.  This is the other side of the looking glass, and nothing over here makes any sense.

    Mundus vult decipi
    Bente,

    "Do not preach scientific method to me when you obviously have no idea what neither science nor scientific method are."

    :)

    I'm a physicist with PhD and postdoc behind me. No offence taken though.

    I can say for a fact that what we see in the climategate emails is by no means normal practice in science. Neither me nor my colleagues are even remotely close to such behavior. And most probably, neither are you. It is important that the public knows this.

    If these emails would have belonged to McIntyre and the other skeptical scientists would you have been this forgiving? I dougbt it. In that case this would probably have been for you an obvious case of malpractice in science showing that all skeptics are disingenuous.

    I apologies for being "in your face" about this. But you do not help to restore credibility in climatology (and science in general) in this way.

    Kind regards,

    Haze

    "I can say for a fact that what we see in the climategate emails is by no means normal practice in science. Neither me nor my colleagues are even remotely close to such behavior."

    Perhaps not in ordinary correspondence, but what if there were a hot public debate, on the news almost everyday, about how you leftist scientists try to fool everybody into believing in relativity and big bang, which have absolute no evidence? "Sure some things are relative, but that does not mean everything is relative", "sure some things explode, and expand very quickly, but that does not prove that the universe itself formed due to some magical big bang, like a Boeing 747 assembling itself by chance, from a dynamite explosion on a junkyard". And peppered with more complex arguments, made by actual scientists, like those of Arp, Flandern and others, making it sound really troublesome for the [leftist] big-bangers and relativists.

    Everyday. All the time. Always repeating annoying points, often with no counter argument.

    Do you think that the level of elegance on the scientific correspondence with colleagues would still be the same then? Remember, "Einstein was a crank, he admittedly dropped out in school, and he even stole everything from Poincaré. They have to support their mistake, because their jobs depend on that. It's all part of their leftist plot".

    Stellare
    Hi Danniel,

    When I went to high school I had a friend who loved to make me laugh - in class. That was not very difficult. But she was sly and made me laugh out so loud I was thrown out of class while she sat there like an innocent angle nowhere near the teachers 'bad behavior' radar.

    I have an impression this is what we see in the Climategate emails; A response to someone provoking a group of scientists that could not help themselves but getting frustrated. Back in high school I knew I was disturbing the class and risked getting in trouble, but I could not help but laugh. Something my friend knew all to well and counted on. I guess we could expect that scientists contained themselves better than most people. Which they also did - officially. But in what they believed were private conversations, they vented their frustration.

    Their actions however, were according to standard scientific practice - as concluded by several inquiries.
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Maybe some understanding of the whole story can help.
    Do you know where the link global warming – CO2 come from?
    From current physics, past Earth surface temperature should have been bellow freezing point of water; Snowball Earth is the theory that fits current understanding of the Universe.
    Although some evidences could be found in favour of Snowball Earth, a huge amount of them trace the opposite scenery, indicating that Earth temperature increases to the past in the order of 0.7ºC per 10 million years. This means that at dinosaurs era, temperature was some 10ºC higher and at 1Gy ago it could be more than 80ºC. Although incredible, tests on old proteins suggest water temperature on that order (although there are also other interpretations).
    What can explain such high past temperatures?
    It is known that CO2 has been decreasing since Earth origin, it has decreased an amazing 100 thousand fold; a hypothesis was made: could CO2 be linked to past hot temperatures? To test that, models where made. Those models intend only to test whether there was any possibility of CO2 by responsible for that, they did not intend to be models of climate. Those models did not consider any process that could cold Earth, namely clouds, they where just to check if CO2 could ever be possible for so huge warming.
    At the same time, politics where long pursuing a reason to prevent oil consumption, for the best reasons, one must say; at the time they had the theory of the winter produced by carbon particles; but temperatures where rising. The possibility the CO2 might drive temperature was seen as gold opportunity and funds where immediately driven to all analysis supporting such view.
    Those where golden years; easy funding for all projects that could even remotely be linked to global warming. Of course that inconvenient voices where shut down.
    But Earth is now cooling; the discover of Mart past warm climate ruled out CO2 connection. What has become obvious is that temperature is ruled by Sun’s activity.
    As solar activity is very low now, many scientists are convinced that it will rise soon and temperature will increase again, so the global warming tale can go on, it is just a matter of holding it a few years more. Others are finding the one to blame, this the common human behaviour.
    If one sees science as a kind of church, there is no easy way out of this story, because science was really in mistake; but if one assumes science as it is, there is no shame on all this, on the contrary, science did what people expected from it, the warning of possible dangers. And no one but believers is expecting that science can be always correct, only that scientists are doing their best.
    I have enough knowledge of solar activity to know that what is expectable is that temperature will continue to cold for some 30 to 40 years, with some minor oscillations; therefore I would not advise anyone to act as a «believer» in global warming.
    I expect to present a paper that explains why Earth was so hot in two months; at least, one explanation for this incredible situation would be available, although it is not an easy one because it implies a deep change in the understanding of the universe, hélas! I expect that it will be largely ignored, therefore this little publicity…
    One last note: the surviving level of CO2 is around 180 ppm, in spite of some plants being able of surviving at somewhat lower levels; the «comfortable» level for present live is around 500 ppm; the huge problem for life is the lack of CO2; industrial era increased temporarily CO2 levels, but diabolising CO2 is wrong and dangerous – in a not so far future mankind will have to be burning carbon to hold CO2 levels.

    rholley
    Year 3010.  Two librarians are going through ancient documents, and come across a 19th century hymn book.  They read:
    From Greenland’s icy mountains
    To India’s coral strand ...

    The younger one expresses puzzlement.

    “Ah,” says the older librarian, “that was before the Great Warming Catastrophe and the mass extinction of corals that followed soon after.”
    Robert H. Olley / Quondam Physics Department / University of Reading / England
    Stellare
    O'Boy! You have a pretty mighty crystal ball there, Robert! 3010!! :-)
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Alf,

    I agree that it is interesting to look at the history of CO2 atmospheric concentrations. I'm not sure it was 100 times a billion years ago. The data I've seen seems to support about 20 times of todays concentrations. But there also seems to be big errors. The reason the CO2 concentration has gone down during the last billion years I think must be the increase in biomass following the Cambrian explosion. All that atmospheric CO2 is probably now in the oil we consume today.

    It is also interesting to note that earth has gone through very cold periods when the CO2 concentration has been 10 times of todays value. Furthermore, during the Dinosaur age it was 7 times pre-industrial CO2 concentrations. It was hotter than today but life was flourishing. Perhaps, that might be due to the high CO2 concentrations which speed up plant growth.

    The real threat does not seem to be high temperatures in themselves (the hot Jurassic period had very rich plant and animal life) but rather a sudden change of temperature. It should be noted though that from the ice core data we know that every 100 000 years the temperature of the earth has increased very rapidly, about 10C (from -8C to +2C) in so little as 5000 years. (This cycle is probably due to orbital variations of earth, both eccentricity and nutation but there remain several problems to understand.) So it seems to me that plant and animal life can handle that without major disasters. But it is not clear to me that an rapid increase from todays temperature to the Jurassic temperature (apparently about 3C above todays temps) or above could be handled by our current eco system. Precaution with a big P is the word here!

    It is also interesting to note that todays CO2 concentration is relatively small compared to geological records. There is another period which has as little CO2 as we have today. It's the Carboniferous period about 300 million years ago. During that 50+ million year period it was both very warm and very cold with apparently a temperature difference of 10C.

    That CO2 is a greenhouse gas is disputed by very few scientists. I saw one article disputing it but I was not terribly impressed. The relation between CO2 concentration (and other greenhouse gases) and temperature can be studied by looking closely at the ice core data. And as Al Gore states: the relationship is indeed complicated! There is of course the lag about 800 years. First we have a rise in temps and then the greenhouse gases follows.

    The CO2 temp lag is not disputed. However, the argument is that the *amount* of warming cannot be explained without taking into account the effects of greenhouse gases. The basic idea is that once warming as started in some way or another, we will have positive feedback. The warmer it gets the more CO2 and greenhouse gases are released, which cause more warming and so on.

    It is clear from the ice core data that the positive feedback loop is repeatedly interrupted by *something*. After the rapid warming phase of 10C the data shows repeatedly a rapid decrease in temperature despite elevated greenhouse gas levels. What causes the positive feedback loop to abruptly halt and the rapid decrease is not clear to me. Perhaps climatologists know why but I have not found a good source yet.

    Of course, none of this means that we should not be concerned with the recent warming. Nor that humans are not causing earth to warm up. To the contrary. But I think it is important to bring into the discussion all the knowledge we have. I think the geological records of temperature and CO2 levels are useful for gaining some perspective.

    Then there is the issue of computer models. The details of those are very hard to understand for most people. I don't understand them. Unfortunately there has been very little attempts in explaining the details of them at least where I have looked. But it would certainly be good to know more details here. How many different models are there? How many free parameters are used? How are the values of these parameters experimentally bounded by known data? How much do the different models agree? How well do they predict the temps in 1900s, 1800s, etc? But of course, hard empirical data is always to be preferred over complicated multi parameter climate models

    Cheers

    Hey Lady Astrophysicist, you really could use a hair-do (but you are very pretty even without). I am also a scientist and a mathematician, and a retired professor. TO STICK TO THE POINT: the CRU climatologists did a despicable act by destroying a valuable set of temperature data from all over the world for a significant time span, all to prevent other scientists from seeing the truth (under the Freedom of Information Act). Only their "adjusted" data remain. Such destruction of evidence surpasses Galileo's recantation, but recall he was under the threat of death.
    DO I BELIEVE IN GLOBAL WARMING: of course, it is obvious the we have have global warming and global cooling every 100,000 years or so. Is it (the warming) caused by CO2. Hardly. At 0.04 % of the atmosphere and being able to only absorb from 12-18 microns of IR and none of visible light, it is too little and too weak to have more than the 0.117% of the total warming effect (due mainly to water vapor at 22,000 ppm or more and absorbs visible light and IR at 14-100 microns. Do the math., lady.
    I DID NOT INTEND TO INSULT YOU ABOUT THE HAIR, NOR OTHER THINGS. Bye!! I don't care for these back and forth jousts, so I am out of here whether my point is made or not!!

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    How do you know that the CRU climatologists did a despicable act by destroying a valuable set of temperature data? If CO2 only accounts for 0.117& of the total warming effect, in your opinion (which I do value here) what accounts for the other 99.883% of the warming effect? Have you read Australian Professor Ian Plimer's book heaven+earth, the science behind climate change and if so what do you think of it? By the way, I hope you like my hair, if you look closely it has been neatly combed and I'm very pretty too, that's why I'm called Bonny Bonobo, but to be honest, I don't really care about your opinion about my hair, after all you're only human, and you humans are very ugly and bald. Except for Bente of course.
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Stellare
    Bonny, you have a nice hair-do, too! Thank you! :-)

    About time humor enter this string, too! I'm exhausted by all this seriousness. But what can you expect, with my hair-do and all? :-)
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Hank
    Hey Lady Astrophysicist, you really could use a hair-do (but you are very pretty even without). I am also a scientist and a mathematician, and a retired professor. TO STICK TO THE POINT: 
    Why?  You were doing so well not making any point at all.  Every woman wants to get where she is career-wise and intellectually just to be critiqued on her hair.
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Hank, you're always going on about your hair. Why it looks good on one side one day and better on the other side the next day. Let's face it you would love it if bloggers included a comment about your hair in each comment wouldn't you? I must say that for a male human you have very nice hair. See, that feels good doesn't it? I also have good hair and enjoy flattering comments about it, but I have to agree that these comments don't help us to stick to the point. The point of this blog being do we believe in global warming why we need to focus on the uncertainties.
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Stellare
    Well, what do you think Hank? Should I redo my hairdo? You have not only seen my hairdo live, but it has also been established here earlier (feel free to provide link, I don't remember exactly where it was written) that you probably have the most fantastic hair-do in the whole wide male world! You are most certainly qualified to have an opinion - and I will believe you (ref Gerhard).  No potential HankGate can end in censure for you. :-)
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Gerhard Adam
    ...and I will believe you...
    Well, His Awesomeness is certainly part of our collective belief systems (as is his hair).
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    I can't say I recall because I was too dazzled by your wit and charm to notice.    And Bloggy has never gotten over it.    So I say you could wear a Burqa and be just fine.
    Stellare
    LOL  So you could start selling Burqas in the US for instance with a slogan going something like:

    Having a bad hair day? Wear a Burqa!

    And I'll teach young kids how to effortlessly get both climate change deniers and Muslims angry at you in one go. If I survive. This. :-)

    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Haze

    Your very interesting comment, besides the relevant information it brings to discussion, shows also that I was not clear in some details. I failed also in the characterization of the overall picture of past Earth climate. Allow me to try again.
    CO2 level in Earth first days is estimated in between 30 and 50 atm, i.e., about 100,000 times present level. At that time atmospheric pressure was over 300 atm and temperature far higher than Venus today.
    We can find that amount of C in today’s oil, carbon deposits, biomass, carbonates and other compounds.
    The importance of knowing this is to understand that CO2 is not in a cycle like water, it vanishes through time; being vital to life, this is a huge problem for the future.
    Earth temperature is being slowly decreasing since first days till now; the rate of 0.7ºC / 10 million years found by Crowley and others in the last 100 million years seems to hold at least in the last 1Gy.
    People have the idea that Earth temperature has been about the same, with some warm periods and colder ones; that is our presumption but that is not what data shows; a non-biased analysis of the overall data available strongly supports the scenery of a mean surface temperature that has always been decreasing. This is at odds with current understanding of the universe and that is why it is not usually stated. Some evidences that can be used to support cold episodes in the past are given a relevance they don’t have because they have minor presence and other possible explanations.
    In such scenery, it comes a time when Earth begins to freeze; naturally, this is an oscillatory process, the ice cap increases and decreases, giving rise to the glacial and interglacial periods. This a very very slow process that will go on for many millions of years. And it follows a pray-predator curve, as expected, this being probably the explanation for the sudden temperature change you refer.
    As you refer, warming is not a problem; a warmer climate is a climate with lower thermal amplitudes. Basically, in a warmer Earth the climate of lower latitudes extends to higher ones. In Dinosaurs age equatorial temperatures could have been only some 5 ºC higher than today, while polar temperatures were much higher than today, they were over 20 ºC. A warmer Earth means lower high temperatures, higher lower ones and higher humidity of course, contrarily to what defenders of global warming state.
    Climate models are a complex set of submodels representing the different agents able of influencing climate and their interrelations. The most important is clouds. However there is not a good model of clouds.
    There is one thing we know about clouds: in equatorial zone they provide very efficient temperature stabilization. The variations in mean equatorial temperature are an order of magnitude lower than those in mid latitudes or so. Therefore, an acceptable model of clouds shall lead to this result. However, current models lead to high temperature increase in equatorial latitudes, showing that there is no negative feedback from clouds in them – clouds, the most important climate element, is misrepresented in climate models.
    A book I like very much is «Warm Climates in Earth History», from Cambridge UP. It provides also some information on climate models.

    Cheers

    "Hey Lady Astrophysicist, you really could use a hair-do (but you are very pretty even without)."

    Isn't it amazing how some people think that by insults (in this case being sexist) will make your point more believable.

    Bente in her post of course never came anywhere close to this kind of insult. But there is still the misrepresentation of skeptics and what they're skeptic about. That is a very dangerous game to play. How are laymen going to decide when both sides indulge in smearing and misrepresentation?

    If a friend of yours is about to go on national television and he has a bogo in his/her nose, you'd be a very good friend to tell him/her that. The bogo in the nose in this global warming debate are the climategate emails. Unfortunately we're already on national television with the bogo for all to see.

    Since Bente will not show you the damning emails I have to do it:

    "Just sent loads of station data to Scott. Make sure he documents everything better
    this time ! And don't leave stuff lying around on ftp sites - you never know who is
    trawling them. The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear
    there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I'll delete the file rather than
    send to anyone. Does your similar act in the US force you to respond to enquiries within
    20 days? - our does ! The UK works on precedents, so the first request will test it.
    We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind. Tom Wigley has sent me a worried
    email when he heard about it - thought people could ask him for his model code. He
    has retired officially from UEA so he can hide behind that. IPR should be relevant
    here, but I can see me getting into an argument with someone at UEA who'll say we must adhere
    to it !"

    As you see, Bente is not correct in saying that they did not have the data and code. They obviously did. As is clearly demonstrated by the above email they even made a real effort not to share the data and code. This is unacceptable scientific practice in its own right. But what makes this a real scandal is that the climategate scientists were very close to the IPCC. We can't have this kind of behavior inside the IPCC if that is suppose to appear credible.

    And it does no good at all to deny this. The opposite. This email is not out of context as is often claimed, and it is very clear what is says. So let's honest and admit that there is a bogo in the nose. And let's wipe it off before it does more damage.

    So for any laymen who reads this, let it be clear that this is *not* common practice among scientists, nor climatologists. We are much much more honest than this. But if scientists such as Bente do not speak out against it, how do we expect people to trust the future IPCC reports? How is credibility to be restored? It's hard to be credible with a bog bogo in your nose...

    Stellare
    Please, stop writing incorrect information about me.

    "As you see, Bente is not correct in saying that they did not have the data and code"

    I have never said 'they did not have the data and code'. And you have in several other comments here on my article presented inaccurate citation - of me alone.

    If you do not change this behavior I shall have to start moderating your comments.

    And please, under any circumstances, come out of your hiding, show some guts and write in your full name.


    For other readers: Do consult my writing for correct reference of what I say or what opinions I have.

    Thank you!


    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Gerhard Adam
    As you see, Bente is not correct in saying that they did not have the data and code.
    Well, since Bente has never said this, then you're incorrect.  In fact, after reviewing the posts, the only one that specifically says this (multiple times) is you.  

    Incidently, your credibility is not improved by remaining anonymous.  If you're "more honest", then by all means .... let's see if that's true.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Well said Haze, but I don't think you meant bogo or bog bogo did you? You probably meant bogey. According to http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/BOGO Bogo may refer to: • BOGO, an acronym in the retail industry that stands for Buy One Get One. • Bogo, Cebu, a city in central Philippines. • Bogo, Norway, a village in Norway. • An alternate name for the Bilen ethnic group of Ethiopia or their language, Blin. • Bogo, the mascot of the ITESM CEM. • BogoMips, an unscientific measurement of CPU speed • Bogosort, an ineffective sorting algorithm I think you meant bogey? See http://www.thefreedictionary.com/bogies bogey1, bogy [ˈbəʊgɪ] 1. an evil or mischievous spirit 2. something that worries or annoys 3. (Individual Sports & Recreations) Golf a. a score of one stroke over par on a hole Compare par [5] b. Obsolete a standard score for a hole or course, regarded as one that a good player should make 4. Slang a piece of dried mucus discharged from the nose 5. (Military) Air Force slang an unidentified or hostile aircraft 6. Slang a detective; policeman Anyway, I’m inclined to agree with you about climategate.Scientists do need to speak out against it, if we are to expect people to trust the future IPCC reports? Otherwise how can credibility to be restored? And it is hard to be credible with a bog bogo or even a bogey on your nose...
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Stellare
    Do you endorse wrong citations? :-)
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    No I don't endorse wrong citations. Haze you keep misquoting Bente and that is very unfair, especially as she has written such a brilliant blog for us. She has never said that that they didn't have the data and code. I agree with Gerhard, its time for you to drop your anonymity and show us your hair. What I was endorsing was Haze saying that it was "clearly demonstrated by the above email that they made a real effort not to share the data and code" and that scientists should speak out against the emails. Bente has not spoken out against the emails but neither has she condoned them :- Quote "It is clear that plenty of the hacked emails show arrogance and unwillingness to share. And Phil Jones also admits that he wrote some awful emails. I refer to those aspects as 'hostile and juvenile' for short and argue that the climate in highly competitive communities, like the scientific or in corporate or political ones for that matter, is rather tough. And humans are humans". I have to also agree that humans are humans!
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Everyone :

    I worked with an adviser who has no documentation of any of his research projects - all that remained were a few remnant computer routines. This is a far cry from problems handling uncertainties.

    One woman working in the Midwest US was an IPCC organizer/officer. Based on century long cherry-picked weather data for calibrating her weather model, she published reports in newspapers indicating temperature increases everywhere practically in the US. Included were statements about impacts for various deviations in temperature. I tried to obtain her data, and one of her students worked at the place she obtained her data, and
    after a delay they told me that they were uncertain about the actual data set she used., and what stations were included.

    I have little doubt that these published maps of climate change were based on a small sub-sampled data set,
    and the maps were wild extrapolations. The investigator was clearly outrageous in publishing these maps in newspapers for their impact. I am not sure f her reasons for doing this, perhaps to scare people into consuming less fuel, but what about farmers who sold the farm because they believer these reports? What about those people who lost loans because banks believed the reports to be correct?

    In my opinion, this was intentionally planted propaganda,not science. Because it probably harmed people should not this person be considered as someone who committed fraud?

    Gerhard Adam
    ... she published reports in newspapers indicating temperature increases everywhere practically in the US.
    I found this statement interesting, since I can't seem to recollect any peer-reviewed newspapers.  Perhaps you could help me out?
    ...but what about farmers who sold the farm because they believer these reports?
    If that's all they needed to sell the farm, no doubt they were already moving to New Mexico to greet the visitors from another planet.
    What about those people who lost loans because banks believed the reports to be correct?
    Do you have any evidence that such a thing ever happened based on these reports?  or are you also being outrageous?
    Mundus vult decipi
    Perhaps some person should write a paper on uncertainty in climate modeling/prediction : from data sets, to proper propagation of error, and including the limitations of continuum assumptions. How well really could someone predict the climate 10 years from today all over the earth based on data available today? Weather models are usually quite simple, and the physics goes awry in a few days. No doubt many people would believe climate projections more, if weather models could predict longer than this - say 2 weeks ahead. But climate modeling is as complex as the entire earth system, and includes feedback, etc I have worked on models using input data streamed to a computer from actual weather observations - it is very difficult to keep such systems from oscillating out of control. What is the uncertainty of that?

    Global Warmers have cranked their models to show the possibility of an alarming condition - and I would presume the uncertainty here is very large. The real grist of working in this difficult arena with shifting winds, clouds, flora and fauna, is to reduce this uncertainty to make reliable predictions.

    Stellare
    You make some excellent points, Truther (I really wish people would write under their real names...)

    On forecasts and projections. They are not the same. We are making decisions (economic and on sercurity) on a daily basis, based on weather forecasts. It is not possible to make the same kind of decisions on projections; the uncertainty is much too high for that.

    One very practical consequence of global warming is changes in sea level. Some groups have started to work seriously on the task of developing the science necessary to make sea level forecasts - 5-10 years ahead in time. Check Climate Change and Sea Level Forecasting.

    Note, that sea level is just one of the Essential Climate Variables (there are 44 in total) describing the Earth system.

    As for the uncertainty of climate models (that you suggest are cranked to show alarming conditions), they are shown as very large in the IPCC reports.

    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Amateur Astronomer
    Bente, If 30 thousand scientists signed a petition, it means that 7 million scientists didn’t sign. That should be an embarrassment to your opponents. I’m using my real name, but am not the famous person. The photo is very old, so I’m very old too, and probably have more math and science than all of your opponents combined. Much of my experience was in environmental defense of Industries, but also in Government services, and more than 23 years in Universities. I’ve seen both sides of the argument for a long time, enough to have strong opinions from information that is not presently in dispute. My PhD research for dissertation published a new way to make gasoline out of coal, shortly before the price of crude oil crashed. (Maybe it was just a coincidence.) Also I worked in petroleum refineries, crude oil production, natural gas fields, and several alternative energy technologies. Next I should say that I believe the climate is undergoing global warming, and that carbon dioxide is one of the causes. Unfortunately the public data is not convincing to most people, partly because of the long history of poor conduct from some researchers and completely outrageous fraud by other, but also because of the political agendas that have become attached to the argument. Some time ago I had an exchange with Patrick about carbon dioxide, in which I made the observation from experience with ethanol research, that all the living plants on Earth and Sea only consume 15% of the carbon dioxide that is being released into the air. If it was a higher percentage then we could replace petroleum with renewable biofuels. I did the numbers. You can ask the petroleum industry to dispute me. Let a group of knowledgeable persons give real names and affiliations then say (if they can) that all of the carbon dioxide is consumed in living plants, but for some other reason, it can’t be recycled back into biofuel to replace petroleum. (I hope I managed to avoid a contradiction in that logic. If not please pencil in the correction.) Finally I should say a few words about the burden of proof and who bears it (again) for the new readers. This is the key to understanding the argument. Normally for a scientific discovery the person making the discovery is expected to prove it with 95% chance of being correct. The rules change when the discovery is about risk to health or safety. Then the person disputing the claim is expected to provide proof with 99.5% chance of being right. Environmental science has (sometimes) abused the privilege of putting the burden of proof on the opponents, by doing shoddy work or worse. Now the opponents are trying to change the rules, but only for climate change. Opponents are not changing the rules for food and medicine, or for aviation and motor vehicles. It is only for climate change that the opponents are revolting. For the new comers, I suggest first to decide who bears the burden of proof, not just for climate change, but also for food and medicine, aviation and automobiles, bridges and tall buildings. If the standards are changing, what is the new standard and where is it applied. In closing, I can say that this way of discussing the issues with percentages and burden of proof is the normal way it is done in science, government, and industries. It can be heard in convention speeches and training classes, but is almost never reprinted or published anywhere. Nice work Bente.
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Jerry, are you Jerry Decker of KeelyNet?
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Oh whoops, sorry, I've just looked at your profile and seen that you are definitely NOT Jerry Decker of KeelyNet. Please accept my apologies for not looking before I posted that last comment.
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Amateur Astronomer
    Thanks Helen for the clarification. Many people ask that question, even after I’ve given the answer. I am in opposition to the Keely program, and that is the main reason I started blogging in my retirement years. Here is a link to my differences with the Keely group. http://www.science20.com/comments/40113/Marshall_thanks_your You can see that I am right in the middle of the energy debate that is central to the global warming argument. My recent patent of June 1, 2010 is for improvement of rechargeable batteries that make hybrid automobiles more practical. US 7,727,699 B2 There is a lot of disinformation in public about energy technology. That disinformation has been continuing for 90 years. The global warming argument is just another chapter in that history. Alternative energy has been misrepresented in public and suppressed in college science. Here is a link to a reasonably calm and polite way to say that something important about energy is missing from education. It is the question that brought me back to this site after a period of absence. http://www.science20.com/philosophical_scientist/late_night_ramblings_ra... Everything has been tampered with by big money and big power, to the extent that it takes an expert like Patrick to tell us that the ice will melt, is melting, did melt. Ethanol was suppressed for 35 years by disinformation of many types in developed countries, while factories in Brazil continued to disprove the disinformation in every argument. It must be terribly embarrassing for the opposition to be continually proven wrong for three decades by leadership from a less developed country. Now the corn producers have discovered a combination of wind energy and ethanol that makes a viable alternative. So food prices are higher, and research is done leading to the conclusion about carbon dioxide production and consumption. Corn supplies are strained, and hate campaigns are being waged against some less essential users. Now we have technology to make biofuel out of algae, seaweed and stover, the stubble of corn stalks that are usually left in the fields. It isn’t enough to replace coal and petroleum. Now the argument is coming to an end. Opposition is increasing, but the quality of the content is rapidly declining. Poor performance from the university group didn’t help the cause either. Some of the remedies are really dangerous. One program in the USA Midwest is to spend government money to pump carbon dioxide from a coal fired power plant into the under ground water table. It is a lime stone formation that dissolves in carbonated water. The opposition will have some fun with that. I guess what is missing from the global warming debate is a program of practical alternatives to the energy usage we have now. One exception seems to be in Denmark where most of the remedies are already installed and working. The opponents can take some consolation that their latest embarrassment comes from a developed country.
    Stellare
    Hi Jerry,

    Thanks for your comments! You point, of course, to other elements of the global warming discussion than I focus on in my article. As you are also aware of (in contrast to several others). :-)

    The hackers have succeeded in one thing for sure, and that is to have climate scientists following scientific procedures (there is no fraud here) into a defending position very different from the regular science work. That is a good strategy in any kind of battle, to have the opponent forced into a defending position, I mean.

    I am not saying anything about how the scientific results (the planet is warming) is being used.

    However, alternative energy, your pet topic as I understand it :-),  does not rely on the global warming argument.

    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Amateur Astronomer
    Thanks Bente for the clarification. Global warming is the reason to choose alternative energy instead of coal to compensate for petroleum shortages. Otherwise coal would have a cost advantage in the over all economy, while alternative energies would be locally preferred in some places to conserve cash flow. All of that changes with global warming and the carbon dioxide from coal. Alternative energies like wind farms don’t replace coal or oil completely, but they do improve the average impact on the environment. Norway has an unusual situation with sufficient petroleum, but I suspect a few people in small communities are burning wood chips, or birch twigs, to save money. If the oil was depleted, then other choices would be needed like other countries are already making. Then global warming would be the deciding factor in choosing technology. The argument about global warming is motivated by the choices that follow the conclusions. That’s why the argument is still continuing. This dispute will continue until the weather services start measuring an increase in the standard atmospheric pressure. Even then some people won’t believe it, because the history files are maintained at East Anglia University.
    Stellare
    Hi Jerry,

    In itself, burning all the Carbon fuel is not such a good idea. It will be empty one of these days. Then a second, independent, argument is that burning carbon pollute and make the environment nasty (exclusive any warming). So that is two independent arguments in favor of finding alternative energy sources.

    "Norway has an unusual situation with sufficient petroleum, but I suspect a few people in small communities are burning wood chips"

    Norway use hydro power. We have plenty of that, too. :-) That is a non-polluting renewable energy source. We sell the oil and gas.

    "Even then some people won’t believe it, because the history files are maintained at East Anglia University."

    This is incorrect. The data (I assume that is what you mean by 'history files') doesn't belong to the University of East Anglia; there are multiple providers and owners. Furthermore, sufficient data has been made available for other independent scientific groups to verify/falsify the analysis based on those data.

    If people are unable/unwilling to absorb correct information you cannot blame the scientists. There are multiple other reasons for that. Hacking or no hacking! :-)
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Hank
    It says that is a patent for toner owned by a company in Japan?
    Amateur Astronomer
    US7727669 (B2) Sorry, one digit was wrong. It should start by saying TRIAZINE COMPOUNDS FOR REMOVING ACIDS http://v3.espacenet.com/searchResults?DB=EPODOC&submitted=true&locale=en... A short link has become available to the abstract on the European Patent Server
    Bente, there is one thing that is puzzling me: the graphs you present end in year 2000; why?

    Stellare
    No reason, Alf. The graph I use in this article is from the last IPCC report (AR3). The one below is from the latest report (AR4) and one of the 4 alternatives in this graph is what I use as illustration in this article.


    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Bente, I personally am finding this blog rather long and fragmented, any chance of starting a new one something along the lines of "Why is there an argument about what is causing global warming?' or "What causes global warming?" or "Why I believe that global warming is being caused by man." or "What is the evidence for global warming?" or even "What do we know about global warming?"
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    I should have added that the evidence is that you are probably right that there is global warming, that CRU is probably not fraudulent and that CRU appears to have shared their data enough to show whether their science can be shown to be either true or false.
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Stellare
    Hi Helen, Yes, the comment thread to this article is becoming rather long and difficult to maneuver in. Agreed. :-)

    I have more articles 'in the cooking', hopefully at least one ready by the end of this week.
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    I admire the dedication and the patience of those who take the time to address all the "skepticism", despite of the trolling, despite of the fact that there are quite a few sites already addressing the most common "skeptic" arguments (like skepticalscience.com), somehow seldom found by those whose skepticism seems to end when they find a purportedly scientific position that fits better with their perspective on the role of governments on economy. Even though they may find quite a lot about it.

    It never ceases to amaze me how so many of the "skeptics" almost invariably fall into that creationist-like pattern of repeating the same arguments they've read somewhere, ranging from reasonable misconceptions, to depictions of mainstream scientists as inept ignorants or vile corrupt. Completely unaware of (or purposefully ignoring like charlatans) basic facts about their own area of research. Speaking about things like the fact that the Earth climate has change a lot in the past, as if it the climate scientists had as the starting point the assumption that the Earth climate was somehow fixed like at the temperature it was back in a few decades ago, in some naïve creationist-like ex-nihilo climate made by an Intelligent Thermostat Controller. The reality of past climate change is remembered by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and James Inhofe or their experts, champions of the true science for the people, defeating corrupt bureaucrat-science. Over and over, the same points, as if they were the brand-new, ultimate proof, against the scientific mainstream. It's frustrating how the pseudo-debate is persistent.

    Danniel,
    Yes, everbody here are saying that all scientists are inept igorants or vile corrupt! We claim that scientists think climate is fixed like a few decades ago. Global warming is not happening. Global warming is not happening. Global warming is not happening....

    Come now, let us be reasonable!

    My LAST comments ever on this site:

    YES THERE IS GLOBAL WARMING AND GLOBAL COOLING - THE DATA OVER MILLIONs OF YEARS SHOW THIS. THE REAL DATA ARE WHAT NATURE HAS ACTUALLY WROUGHT, NOT SOME COMPUTER MODEL BASED ON EXTREMELY SPARSE CLIMATOLOGY KNOWLEDGE HAS GENERATED TO SPEW OUT PRECONCEIVED DATA. THE REAL DATA SHOW THAT THE LEVEL OF CO2 DOES NOT CORRELATE WITH WARMING OR COOLING BUT IS INDEPENDENT.

    AS FOR CORRUPTED SCIENCE, JUST LOOK AT THE IPCC REPORT FOR THE TEMPERATURES FOR 1990-2001 AND 2001-2003 AND YOU WILL SEE THAT THE HOT MEDIEVAL PERIOD WAS REMOVED IN THE LATER BUT NOT IN THE FORMER, AND THAT IN THE LATTER, THE INFAMOUS HOCKEY STICK OF FAKED DATA WAS INSERTED (MADE BY MICHAEL MANN (PREVIOUSLY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA BUT NOW AT PENN STATE UNIV.). THIS WAS ADVISED BY JON OVERPECK AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA, WHO CONFIDED TO A NONWARMER THAT "WE MUST GET RID OF THE MEDIEVAL WARMING." JAMES HANSEN AT THE NASA/GISS AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY WAS CAUGHT ADJUSTING THE TEMPERATURES IN SANTA ROSA, CA UPWARD WHEN THEY ACTUALLY WENT DOWNWARD (A TRICK USED BY OTHER CLIMATOLOGISTS). I WON'T GO INTO THE EAST ANGLIA UNIV. CLIMATE RESEARCH UNIT FIASCO WHERE THEY DELIBERATELY DESTROYED WORLD WIDE TEMPERATURE DATA TO PREVENT IT FROM BEING RETRIEVED BY OTHER SKEPTICAL SCIENTISTS UNDER THE UK FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT. THAT DESPICABLE ANTI-SCIENCE ACT SAYS IT ALL.

    BUT ALL OF THIS IS SMALL POTATOES. DR. RAJENDRA PACHAURI OF THE UN'S IPCC EDITED THE IPCC REPORTS AFTER THE FACT AND CHANGED DATA TO SHOW EXTRA WARMNG. HE AND AL GORE ARE CONNECTED TO HUGE INVESTMENT FIRMS STANDING TO ROB NATIONAL TREASURIES OF TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS (POUNDS) OF TAXPAYER MONEY, BASED ON FAKE SCIENCE. THIS FACT DOES NOT ENTER ANY SCIENCTIFIC ARGUMENT BUT MERELY GIVES A MOTIVE FOR THE FAKE SCIENCE. GORE HEADS UP "GENERATION INVESTMENT" IN LONDON (check it out) AND PACHAURI HELPED SET UP THE CCX (CHICAGO CARBON EXCHANGE), THE LARGEST CARBON CREDIT TRADING FIRM IN THE WORLD. HE AND AL GORE WILL MAKE BILLIONS EVERY YEAR. GOLDMAN SACHS IS MANAGING THE CARBON TRADING FOR CCX AND GENERATION INVESTMENT IN LONDON.

    THE HOTTEST TEMPERATURES OF THE 20TH CENTURY WERE IN THE 1930'S BEFORE THE INCREASES IN CO2 LEVELS. THE UNTAMPERED DATA IN JAPAN SHOW THAT 1933 WAS THE HOTTEST YEAR. FOUR OF THE HOTTEST YEARS WERE IN THE 1930S AND TWO WERE IN THE 1920S. WHEN CO2 WAS INCREASING DRAMATICALLY AROUND 1945-1960 THE TEMPERATURES ACTUALLY WENT DOWN. WE HAVE BEEN IN A 90-YEAR GLEISSBERG WARM HALF CYCLE IN THE LAST PART OF THE 20TH CENTURY. NOW A 90 YEAR COOL HALF CYCLE IS SETTING UP. THIS IS SHOWN FOR THE LAST 450,000 YEARS AND WILL HAPPEN REGARDLESS OF ANYTHING HUMANS CAN DO.

    THE REAL QUESTION IS: DOES CO2 CAUSE WARMING????
    THE ANSWER IS AN UNEQUIVOCAL NO!!! AT 388 PARTS PER MILLION AND AN INFRARED ABSORPTION RANGE OF 8-12 MICRONS, CO2 IS LAUGHABLY WEAK AT COLLECTING ANY WARMTH, BUT CRITICAL TO THE FOOD CHAIN, ELSE WE WOULD ALL STARVE TO DEATH. WATER VAPOR IS THE SIGNIFICANT GREENHOUSE GAS AT 22,000 PPM AND AN INFRARED ABSORPTION BAND OF 84 MICRONS. SO IT IS THOUSANDS OF TIMES STRONGER THAN CO2. WE ARE A WATER PLANET. THE OCEANS KEEP US WARMER IN THE WINTER, ELSE THE AVERGE TEMP ON EARTH WOULD BE -16 DEGREES CENTIGRADE - MAMMALS COULD NOT ENDURE THIS FOR LONG. WE ARE LUCKY THAT HUMANS ARE POWERLESS TO RID THE PLANET OF WATER, AND CO2 ALSO, OR THERE SOME MAD SCIENTISTS WOULD CAUSE THE DEMISE OF LIFE ON THIS BLUE, WHITE AND GREEN PLANET.

    PUT THAT IN YOUR PIPE AND SMOKE IT, GANG. I HAVE HAD PRIVY VIEW OF A NEW EBOOK COMING OUT CALLED, "THE TRUTH ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING," THAT GOES MUCH MORE INTO IT THAN I CAN. BUT I HAVE SEEN ENOUGH TO KNOW THAT CLIMATOLOGY IS AN INFANT SCIENCE AND THAT CO2 IS NOT GUILTY AS CHARGED. THOUSANDS OF SCIENTISTS IN RUSSIA, THE US AND UK, CANADA AND DENMARK AGREE: CO2 IS INNOCENT. EXTRA CO2 MAKES PLANTS GROW MUCH FASTER WITH LESS WATER, AND CAN ALLEVIATE GLOBAL HUNGER - A FACT KNOWN BY PROF. REVELLE AT HARVARD, WHO AL GORE TOOK A CLASS FROM AND HAS BEEN MISREPRESENTING EVER SINCE.
    (Get a hairdo, pretty lady! How is your mathematics doing lately?)

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Interesting post, but why are you anonymous?
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Hank
    No accountability for anonymous people so they can say whatever they want - we have to use actual facts here.  And I still like her hair just fine.    Plus, she's a Viking and I bet he'd be more polite to her in person, for that reason alone.
    Stellare
    Thank you Hank. I like your hair too. As I believe a number of people have concurred earlier on FB or where it was. :-)

    I suspect those anonymous people are jealous of those with masses of hair, like you and me - actually they are probably bald. haha
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Stellare
    Dear SCREAMING anonymous,

    Just because you scream out a row of false description of our system Earth, doesn't make you right.

    And all I am saying is still that the planet IS getting warmer. I might add that we are plain stupid not to mitigate or adapt to this fact.

    James Hansen is, by the way, against cap and trade. He does not believe that will solve anything concerning the CO2. You can at least count him out as an economist in this case. ;-) He favors nuclear energy and I don't know if he has invested in any nuclear companies. Maybe you can SCREAM about that later on...

    Oh, thank you for your sweet compliment. I believe 'pretty lady' is the main point in your comment. And I appreciate that - even with the attached encouragement of getting a hairdo. ;-)
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    I am not a scientist and this will become quite evident in my comments.

    However, I want to know the truth. So, please, all of you scientists, get off this blog and go to work finding the real answers. Right now, I do not see why, if what Anonymous says is true, that the 1930's and Middle Ages were warmer than now, and the amount CO2 was less how the argument for CO2 is still being considered the culprit.

    Also, what caused all the ice to melt during the several ice ages we had? Kind of interested to know what caused the ice age too? Too little CO2?

    Everyone's hair is fine. I didn't know scientists cared so much about their hair...or would be involved in so much trivia when there is so much important work to do.

    Sincerely,

    Glenda Smith
    North Carolina
    U.S.A.

    Gerhard Adam
    While I can appreciate your frustration with the controversy, there's really a much simpler way to look at it.

    Regardless of the causes, is the global climate changing?  Doesn't have to be specifically getting warmer or colder, but are the dynamics of it changing?  For example are traditionally cold places (like the Arctic) getting warmer?  Are other places getting colder?  After all, even if the global average temperature doesn't change, that doesn't mean that you still can't totally screw up the climate.

    A popular point is to insist that this is simply another climate cycle for the Earth.  Pointing to other periods of the Earth's history, as if that conveys some legitimacy on what's happening today.  It doesn't really matter what happened in the Middle Ages, because we didn't have a global population of nearly 7 billion that had to contend with it. 

    After all, at some point in the past, the Earth's atmosphere contained methane, but that doesn't mean that we should blithely assume that that would be a good thing to have happen again.

    Be assured, that whatever climate change occurs won't bother the Earth one little bit.  The only question on the table, is if it will affect humans and the biosphere we depend on.  If it does, then we'll pay the price. 

    However, even having said that, I'm not convinced that there is a solution.  I think there is a problem, but I think it's beyond humans to solve.  To truly address it would require a level of worldwide cooperation that is unprecedented in history.  We humans will have an impact and will continue to have an impact as long as we think we can do whatever we like (including grow our population indefinitely).  Whether it be global climate change, or something else ... at some point, we will be accountable and there won't be any easy out.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Craig Dillon
    One of the problems is that the people presenting the argument for climate change do not seem to present DIRECT evidence. They always seem to present associated indicators or indirect evidence. For instance, the hockey stick graph. That shows the recent siginificant rise in CO2. What does that show? Absolutely nothing by itself. Only if you accept the premise of the association between CO2 levels and temperature does that graph mean anything. And, since a correlation does NOT mean causality, one CANNOT conclude from that evidence that CO2 is causing the global warming, if it is occuring. To someone who does not fully accept the greenhouse gas hypothesis, it seems very weak. However, there is much DIRECT evidence of global warming that is irrefutable. For instance, just go the the Cryosphere Today website, and look at the animation of the Arctic Ice cover for the last month. It shows the Arctic Ocean as being mostly ice free. Only the Arctic Basin portion has any ice at all. The Beaufort, Bering, Leptev, Kara, Chuchki, and East Siberian Seas are ALL ice free. Isn't that convincing? Next, there is evidence of insects, plants, mammals, and birds spreading their habitats farther north. Isn't that real evidence? This challenge to a global warming doubter is to explain these observable facts with any possibility other than global warming. The other issue is whether mankind is the cause of it. To me, that is an academic and largely moot point. The real question is "can we do something about it?". Unfortunately, that issue does not seem to come up for discussion at all. The politicians propose ideas like "cap and trade", or the Kyoto Protocol, which seem laughable to me. The suppporters of global warming do not act like the really believe it. They propose actions, like the Kyoto Protocol, that have some other hidden agenda. Combatting the rise in CO2 was obviously not the real goal of that effort. Climatologists and global warming lost a lot of credibility with that. [Not including China and India showed that the real agenda seemed to be to reduce Americas manufacturing base, and showed that CO2 reduction could NOT be the real goal. ] So, to me the best way to persuade is to show directly what is happening. Get the fact that global warming IS happening accepted, and then everyone can move away from arguing its existence to discussing actions for solution.
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Well said Craig, for what its worth as a non PHD, I totally agree with you.
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Craig Dillon
    Thank you, Helen.
    Stellare
    Hello Craig,

    Thanks for your comment. :-)

    To determine if we have climate change we evaluate a set of parameters that defines/describe climate. These parameters are the so-called Essential Climate Variables - ECV. (I describe them in the video Climategate: To Share Or Not To Share in this article by the way).

    A generally accepted and simple definition of climate is the average weather over a 30 year period.

    I talk about global warming in my article and we have measured temperature for about 150 years showing direct evidence of a globally warming climate on this planet. I believe you read this article a tad to fast and thought I showed CO2 - which as you correctly say also show this 'hockeystick' development over the years. CO2 is one of these 44 ECVs - as is temperature. But, temperature is arguably a direct measurement of global warming.

    Since there are in fact large uncertainties concerning the future climate, we the people of this planet need to focus on mitigation, adaptation and prepare ourselves for a number of possible future climate scenarios.

    Cap and trade is not a step in that direction.
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Craig Dillon
    Regarding my last post, in case my position is not clear, I have come to my own conclusion that global warming IS occurring. That it will occur faster than climatologists have predicted. That the impact on sea levels will happen sooner and be larger than predicted. The impact on local climates around the world will be profound. Basically, I suspect that the Holocene climate age will be coming to an end within the next few hundred years. The question of climate change has not gotten people or scientists it seems to ask the obvious question - "change to what?" In the past, every climate epoch ended with a change to a new climate epoch which had a stable but different climate regime. The question that needs to be asked now -- since our climate is changing, what will the new stable climate regime look like? If CO2 is poweing this change, is it in our power to modify this change? or slow it down? SInce the methane clathrate and permafrost CO2 release feedbacks have already started, has it already moved beyond our ability to ameliorate or halt the process? The ocean's chemistry is already changing, becoming more acidic. How much will the ocean's chemisty change? How will this impact oceanic life? How will this effect ocean fish stocks? Is there a danger of widespread oceanic anoxia? I would like to see the obvious fact of global warming be accepted so we can begin to discuss the more important issues of how mankind should or could respond.
    Craig Dillon
    Bonny Bonobo? They call you that? Oooh boy! The Bonobo chimpanzees are known to be the most highly sexually charged, active, and unhibited of the great apes...except for a few people I know. Is that why they call you Bonobo? VEeeerry Eenteresting. I will keep that in mind. Hmmm,..could this be the cause of global warming? Or, is it just me? Craig
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Yes, i'm very sexy like a Bonobo not like a T Rex, and believe in making love not war, so be careful you don't blow a fuse, and if you do checkout my latest blog on how to clear up the mess at http://www.science20.com/make_love_not_war/blog/mercury_poisoning_chines...
    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    I found your article interesting on a number of levels, and I found many comments by others revealing for their intellectual and emotional bias.

    What interested me was your comment... "If we take the case of global warming, the scientific discussion is not about whether the planet is warming, but why and how."

    Those adding insulting comments are simply showing what small people they are. It is the way bullies behave when they cannot fathom or articulate a better argument.

    I think that if judgement is to be passed on how scientific groups should behave with the data they choose to reveal then it should be by someone without a boatload of their own faults in social behavior.

    Personally, I do not.

    Why did you not use standard quotation marks for "trick" and "hide the decline" as you should have? They were quotes taken from emails - hacked or not.

    Your bias is showing.

    JJM

    Gerhard Adam
    You must be joking?  You think its bias if someone uses single versus double quotes? 
    Mundus vult decipi
    It's standard practice and correct when attributing direct quotes to use quotation marks - " Using the alternative is an effort to be derisive or to minimize the import of the content. Look it up.

    Let's wait for the author to weigh in.

    Gerhard Adam
    You are obviously clueless.

    In the United States, we use single quotation marks [ ‘ ’ ] to enclose quoted material (or the titles of poems, stories, articles) within other quoted material:

    • "'Design' is my favorite poem," he said.
    • "Did she ask, 'What's going on?'"
    • Ralph Ellison recalls the Golden Age of Jazz this way: "It was itself a texture of fragments, repetitive, nervous, not fully formed; its melodic lines underground, secret and taunting; its riffs jeering—'Salt peanuts! Salt peanuts!'"

    British practice, again, is quite different. In fact, single-quote marks and double-quote marks are apt to be reversed in usage. Instructors in the U.S. should probably take this into account when reading papers submitted by students who have gone to school in other parts of the globe.

    In newspapers, single quotation marks are used in headlines where double quotation marks would otherwise appear.

    • Congress Cries 'Shame!'

    In some fields, key terms may be set apart with single-quote marks. In such cases, periods and commas go outside the single-quote marks:

    • Sartre's treatment of 'being', as opposed to his treatment of 'non-being', has been thoroughly described in Kaufmann's book.

    When the term is case-sensitive, capitalization remains unchanged despite placement in the sentence.

    • 'tx_send' determines whether the signal will be output through TX Output Port.
    • If the constant REG_RESET is set, then resets will be registered.


    The American rule is that double quotation marks are the standard form, and single quotation marks (what the British call "inverted commas") are normally used only  to enclose a quotation within a quotation.


    The British usually, but not always, reverse this order, using single quotation marks first, and then double quotation marks to enclose quotations within quotations.
    http://grammartips.homestead.com/singlequotationmark.html
    Mundus vult decipi
    Stellare
    Thank you, Gerhard! I am Norwegian and I struggle with subtle issues like commas and quotations and what not in the English language.

    I will not dignify the original comment with an answer. Even though I do find English grammar interesting. :-)

    Thanks, again!
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Gerhard Adam
    You're quite welcome. 
    Mundus vult decipi