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2013 Index of Editorials

All Editorials for


Antarctic Warming
 Skepticism [2]

 Review [2]

Climate Change
 CO2 Emissions [1]

Climate Models
 Uncertainty [2]

Climate Science
 Climate Cycles [1]
 Climate Sensitivity [1]
 Holes [1]
 Thermal History [1]
 Unsolved Problems [1]

Energy Issues
 American Power Act [1]
 Clean and Sustainable [1]
 Nuclear Waste Storage [1]
 Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) [1]

 Surrogate Religion [1]

 Energy Primer for Kids [1]

 Applications [2]

Global Climate - International
 French Academy [1]

Global Warming
 Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) [6]
 Confusion [1]
 Economics [1]
 General [2]
 Greenhouse Gases [1]
 Hockeystick [4]
 Ice Cores [1]
 Junkscience [9]
 Oceans' Role [2]
 Skepticism [1]
 Sun's Role [2]

Health Issues
 Second Hand Smoke [1]

 Arctic Sea Ice [1]
 Atmospheric Temperature Data [2]
 Sea Surface Temperature [1]
 Surface Data [2]

 Statistics Misuse [1]

Modern Empirical Science
 v. Medieval Science [1]

 China [1]

Nuclear Fuel
 Supplies [1]

 Climate Research Unit (CRU) [1]
 International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) [2]
 Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) [1]
 UK Met Office [1]
 World Meteorological Organization (WMO) [1]

Political Issues
 Climate Realism [1]
 Climategate [3]
 Independent Cross Check of Temperature Data [1]

 IPCC Assessment Report [2]
 NOAA State of the Climate 2009 [1]
 NRC-NAS Advancing the Science of Climate Change [1]

Sea-Level Rise
  West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS)  [1]
 Alarmism [1]

Types of Energy
 Nuclear Energy [1]
  • 29-Jun-13 Climate change by the numbers. [NIPCC, China]
  • 23-Mar-13 The continuing battle over Marcott et al. [Global Warming, Hockeystick]
  • 05-Jan-13 Expert Review of IPCC Assessment Report (AR5WGI), Reviewer of All Five Reports [Report, IPCC Assessment Report]
  • (in TWTW Jun 29, 2013)
    S. Fred Singer, Chairman and President , Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

    Climate change by the numbers.

    Originally appeared in Shanghai Daily, Jun 23, 2013

    In his Shanghai Daily essay of June 19, Mr. Bob Ward, a publicist with the Grantham Research Institute (London), promotes an alarmist view of climate change. He presents the conclusions of the IPCC, which claims that human-caused emission of greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas), is producing dangerous global warming.

    The IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] was set up by the United Nations to provide the necessary evidence to support the (Rio de Janeiro) Global Climate Treaty, signed by most nations. This 1992 Treaty resulted in the Kyoto Protocol of 1997, which was supposed to reduce the CO2 content of the atmosphere. It has failed completely in its task; by now, CO2 has risen to 400 ppm, about 40% above the pre-industrial level. The Protocol expired in 2012; but activists want to set up another one. However, there is little enthusiasm for any such agreement to limit energy production and economic growth.

    The IPCC is supposed to survey published scientific results impartially but instead it has ignored research papers that contradict its conclusion. For evidence of human influence on climate, the IPCC relies on a supposed agreement between climate models and observations. In fact, the models cannot reproduce most of the observations and therefore fail to support the IPCC conclusion.

    This disagreement has now become apparent to many scientists around the world, who have set up a competing study group called NIPCC [Non-Governmental International Panel on Climate Change]. The Chinese Academy of Sciences has just translated and published the reports of the NIPCC. The CAS also organized a June 15 Workshop in Beijing, where an international group of NIPCC authors presented their results.

    Contrary to the IPCC, NIPCC finds that natural influences rule the climate and human influences are relatively insignificant. I will give several examples where models and observations disagree.

    Bob Ward mentions in passing that there has been no warming observed in the last fifteen years. But he fails to point out that this result disagrees with the predictions of every climate model.

    Ward is also dismissive of scientific research that cosmic rays from outer space can and do change the climate. The full story is that the cosmic ray intensity is affected by solar activity. Ultimately therefore, solar activity affects cosmic rays, which in turn change the earths cloud cover and thereby affect climate.

    One could cite many other examples of credible scientific work ignored by the IPCC. It has been the aim of the NIPCC to restore the balance of evidence necessary to permit informed decisions on policy.

    Bob Ward relates, with pride, that the IPCCs Summary for Policy Makers is approved line-by-line by the nearly 200 participating national delegations. But these delegates are not scientists; they are working with a draft carefully compiled by a handful of politically oriented scientists who cherry-pick evidence from the IPCC Report itself and ignore contrary evidence. Unlike the Report, this draft Summary does not acknowledge the existence of scientific uncertainties.

    It is on the basis of such a Summary that politicians then try to develop policies that affect energy use -- and therefore have tremendous economic consequences. Right now, China is beginning to experiment with cap-and-trade policies. The US Congress has refused to approve such a policy; yet President Obama will attempt to achieve a similar result through regulation  without the Congress. Europeans have tried it, but it has been an economic disaster. Australia has instituted a carbon tax as an alternative, but will soon abandon it. Only the State of California is proceeding with such a scheme, but is using it primarily to raise revenues, like a tax. It will have no detectible effect on climate.

    A cap and trade scheme in China may have some value in improving energy efficiency  in reducing the amount of energy required to produce a unit of output. That would be a useful objective. But it will do little if anything for the global climate and should not be considered as climate policy.

    A quick word about carbon dioxide: It is an odorless, non-toxic natural constituent of the Earths atmosphere. As the basic food for all plants, it is absolutely essential for maintaining life on our planet. CO2 should not be called a pollutant. In the geological past, its level has been ten times or more higher than its present value; in fact, our major food crops developed when CO2 levels were about five times higher. China is now the worlds largest emitter of CO2 and thereby making an important contribution to increasing agricultural yields at a time when much of the global population is still hungry. The world should be grateful to China.

    S. Fred Singer is professor emeritus at the University of Virginia and director of the Science & Environmental Policy Project. His specialty is atmospheric and space physics. An expert in remote sensing and satellites, he served as the founding director of the US Weather Satellite Service and, more recently, as vice chair of the US National Advisory Committee on Oceans & Atmosphere. He is a Senior Fellow of the Heartland Institute and the Independent Institute, and an elected Fellow of several scientific societies. He co-authored the NY Times best-seller "Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 years." In 2007, he founded and has since chaired the NIPCC (Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change), which has released several scientific reports [See]. For recent writings see and also Google Scholar.

    View The Week That Was in which this editorial appeared.

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    (in TWTW Mar 23, 2013)
    Guest Editorial by Gordon J. Fulks, (PhD (Physics))

    The continuing battle over Marcott et al.

    Mar 18, 2013

    Technical fields, whether they be climate science or physics or meteorology or medicine or engineering or law, require some measure of training and competence. Practitioners are supposed to know more than just some of the technical jargon. That is why many are licensed. The public needs to be protected from charlatans. In many fields, it is illegal to claim expertise if you have none.

    Unfortunately, it is impractical to license scientists because our field is so broad. Hence, we use education as the rough equivalent, because that is the first requirement in most licensing processes. It is not a foolproof substitute but then neither is licensing. There are still accomplished physicians and those not so accomplished.

    Many complete amateurs post on popular blogs, substituting personal attacks, sarcasm, and 'cut and paste' for knowledge of a subject. With climate science, you can find material to back up just about any position you want to take. A real scientist (on whatever side of Global Warming) will usually be careful to choose those positions that have some validity.

    For instance, I have been surprised to find myself in agreement with the famous Global Warming Guru James Hansen on some topics, not to include carbon dioxide. On closer inspection that is not really surprising, because we are both PhD astrophysicists from well-known astrophysics groups at the University of Iowa and University of Chicago. In other words, we evaluate each subtopic in climate science separately, based on our personal knowledge and our ability to critique the logic and evidence. That leads to many agreements on, for instance, the overall cooling trend during this interglacial period we call the Holocene, caused by an advancing Milankovitch cycle.

    I have not heard Hansen weigh in on the Marcott et al. paper. He will surely like the conclusions that resurrect Michael Mann's Hockey-Stick graph but may be leery of Marcott's strong temperature upturn in the 20th century, if he looks at the proxies used by Marcott. They show such a confused mess that no one (especially an experienced scientist) would want to risk his reputation by claiming to be able to make something out of the mess. Marcott's re-dating of other researcher's temperature proxies is a huge red flag. If he were to read Steve McIntyre's analysis that demonstrated the upturn to be an artifact of the analysis and heard Marcott's admission that his 20th century results were "not robust," he might avoid getting entangled in such a bad paper.

    After all, however much of a partisan Hansen is, he must realize that the peer-review process at both Science and Nature is broken and many incompetent papers are being published.

    Hansen does not display good scientific judgement in many instances, as one would expect of a PhD astrophysicist, but he is far from a total loss BECAUSE HE HAS THE REQUISITE EDUCATION.

    Those who wish to express an opinion on the theory of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming not only need to understand the relevant science but also how science works. Although climate science may seem like a purely political exercise, real scientists realize that all science rests on logic and evidence - and nothing else.

    Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
    Corbett, Oregon USA

    View The Week That Was in which this editorial appeared.

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    (in TWTW Jan 5, 2013)
    Guest Editorial by Vincent Gray, New Zealand

    Expert Review of IPCC Assessment Report (AR5WGI), Reviewer of All Five Reports

    Nov 1, 2012

    Nov, 2012, General Comments, slightly edited for clarity.

    Dear Fred and Ken

    Now the contents of the AR5-WGI 2nd Draft seem to be publicly available I see no reason why I should not make available my comments.

    You might note that I am far more radical than any of the critics published so far. I consider that the basic models are all fatally flawed for a whole host of reasons. They violate several basic principles of Physics and mathematics. They replace heat transfer by conduction convection and latent heat by radiation, and they ignore altogether the dominant influence of the chaos of air and ocean movement which effectively forbids the long term forecasting they favour...

    Their earlier projections were all one hundred years ahead, to ensure that their scientist would enjoy their generous pensions before the Projections were proved to be wrong, but they have been tempted to make projections: much earlier. The UK Met Office is suffering yet another cold winter after projecting: the end of snow and the destruction of equipment to deal with it. The current frat actually compares their projections with what has happened recently and it is not impressive.

    I have also had a thorough look at ARI [Assessment Report I, 1990] which few people seem to have read. Its mention of predictions: which is mainly in the Executive Summary at the beginning, disappear as soon as they give details, when the predictions all disappear in a collection of best estimates and statements of confidence from their collection of biased, well paid supporters. All this subsequently degenerated into an elaborate system of attribution simulation and various levels of likelihood and confidence made by people paid to do so

    Vincent Gray

    View The Week That Was in which this editorial appeared.

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