söndag 14 februari 2010

Time for Fight, in Climate Science

The basic scientific questions in climate science are
  • (i) Is there today unequivocal unprecedented global warming?
  • (ii) Is there scientific evidence of major AGW?
In a BBC interview Phil Jones as central scientific advocate of AGW, answers No to (i) and Maybe Not to (ii), as evidenced in:

Question A - Do you agree that according to the global temperature record used by the IPCC, the rates of global warming from 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998 were identical?

Phil Jones: An initial point to make is that in the responses to these questions I've assumed that when you talk about the global temperature record, you mean the record that combines the estimates from land regions with those from the marine regions of the world. CRU produces the land component, with the Met Office Hadley Centre producing the marine component.Temperature data for the period 1860-1880 are more uncertain, because of sparser coverage, than for later periods in the 20th Century. The 1860-1880 period is also only 21 years in length. As for the two periods 1910-40 and 1975-1998 the warming rates are not statistically significantly different (see numbers below).I have also included the trend over the period 1975 to 2009, which has a very similar trend to the period 1975-1998.So, in answer to the question, the warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly
different from each other.

Question D - Do you agree that natural influences could have contributed significantly to the global warming observed from 1975-1998, and, if so, please could you specify each natural influence and express its radiative forcing over the period in Watts per square metre.

Phil Jones: This area is slightly outside my area of expertise. When considering changes over this period we need to consider all possible factors (so human and natural influences as well as natural internal variability of the climate system). Natural influences (from volcanoes and the Sun) over this period could have contributed to the change over this period. Volcanic influences from the two large eruptions (El Chichon in 1982 and Pinatubo in 1991) would exert a negative influence. Solar influence was about flat over this period. Combining only these two natural influences, therefore, we might have expected some cooling over this period.

Question E - How confident are you that warming has taken place and that humans are mainly responsible?

Phil Jones: I'm 100% confident that the climate has warmed. As to the second question, I would go along with IPCC Chapter 9 - there's evidence that most of the warming since the 1950s is due to human activity.

Question V - If you have confidence in your science why didn't you come out fighting like the UK government's drugs adviser David Nutt when he was criticised?

Phil Jones: I don't feel this question merits an answer.

Both question (i) and (ii) are scientific questions which can be answered today, or not. It is up to the scientific community including the Royal Society and Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to present answers or if this is not yet possible, to make this clear.

It is time for Phil Jones and the Royals to come out in the open and fight. This is how science is performed, unlike business and politics taking place in closed boards behind closed doors, and how merits in science are gained.

Or rather, this is how science is supposed to work, but the practice is different, as now being
brought into light in Climategate and Climategate Analysis by John Costella
  • So what reception do they get? Instead of embracing this diversity of knowledge—  thanking them for their experience (no one knows everything about everything)  and using that knowledge to improve their own calculations—these power-brokers  of climate science instead ignore, fob off, ridicule, threaten, and ultimately black-  ball those who dare to question the methods that they—the power-brokers, the  leaders—have used. 
  • And do not be confused: I am here talking about those  scientists within their own camps, not the “skeptics” which they dismiss out of  hand.    
  • This is not “climate science”, it is climate ideology; it is the Church of Climatology.    It is this betrayal of the principles of science—in what is arguably the most  important public application of science in our lifetime—that most distresses  scientists. 

A parallel story, on a much smaller scale but with the same ingredients, is my own experience with my resolution together with Johan Hoffman of the 250 year old d'Alembert's paradox as a central problem of fluid mechanics.

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