Monthly Archives: January 2009

A Recent Paper “Effects Of Irrigation And Vegetation Activity On Early Indian” By Lee Et Al 2008

There is an important new paper that provides further peer reviewed evidence on the role of land surface processes in the climate system. It is

 Eungul Lee, Thomas N. Chase,Balaji Rajagopalan, Roger G. Barry, Trent W. Biggs and Peter J. Lawrence: Effects of irrigation and vegetation activity on early Indian summer monsoon variability, 2008:Int. J. Climatol. (2008) Published online in Wiley InterScience ( DOI: 10.1002/joc.1721

“We examined the effects of land cover change over the Indian subcontinent during pre-monsoon season (March, April, and May - MAM) on early Indian summer monsoon (ISM) rainfall using observed Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and July precipitation for the period of 1982-2003. MAM NDVI anomalies have increased in the Indian subcontinent and the increases are significantly correlated with increases in the irrigated area, not preceding rainfall. July rainfall significantly decreased in central and southern India, and the decrease is statistically related to the increase in the preceding MAM NDVI anomalies. Decreased July surface temperature in the Indian subcontinent (an expected result of increased evapotranspiration due to irrigation and increased vegetation) leads to a reduced land-sea thermal contrast, which is one of the factors driving the monsoon, and therefore weakens the monsoon circulation. A weak early ISM appears to be at least partially a result of irrigation and the resultant increased vegetation and crop activity prior to the monsoon.”

The numerous paper that continue to be published which document a regional and global effect of land use/land cover change on climate indicate that this aspect of the human role in climate variability and change needs to be elevated in its importance in future climate assessments. Unfortunately, this topic was minimized in its importance in the 2007 IPCC report.

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Follow Up To Henk Tennekes’s Guest Weblog

Follow Up: February 3 2009: Gavin Schmidt has ignored my request to write a guest weblog, or to respond to the science questions that I have raised (e.g. see). I have now accepted that he is not interested in scientific debate, and, thus, will not expend any more time seeking to correct the misinformation regarding the modeling of climate that he is presenting on Real Climate.

In response to today’s weblog Real Climate Suffers from Foggy Perception by Henk Tennekes, Gavin Schmidt and I have e-mailed to each other several times today. He is offended by the weblog and stated that it inaccurately reported on his professional credentials. Thus I invited him to write a response as a guest weblog on Climate Science to refute the claims make in the weblog from earlier today. Hopefully, he will accept.

I also invited him to move beyond this issue. Specifically, I wrote this to him in one of the e-mails;

“Others who read our weblogs will benefit if we move the discussion to a scientific level, and I am prepared to work with you on this. Here is a proposal: what if we both presented a Q&A from you and I on both of our websites (identical presentations)? This would provide readers with an informative set of viewpoints with which everyone would benefit.”

If he accepts this offer, the climate community would significantly benefit by reading where we agree and where we disagree on the science issues. We could start, for example, on which of the three hypotheses reported in Three Climate Change Hypotheses – Only One Of Which Can Be True we conclude have been refuted. He certainly has the professional credentials to contribute significantly to this discussion.


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Real Climate Suffers from Foggy Perception by Henk Tennekes

Roger Pielke Sr. has graciously invited me to add my perspective to his discussion with Gavin Schmidt at RealClimate. If this were not such a serious matter, I would have been amused by Gavin’s lack of knowledge of the differences between weather models and climate models. As it stands, I am appalled. Back to graduate school, Gavin!

A weather model deals with the atmosphere. Slow processes in the oceans, the biosphere, and human activities can be ignored or crudely parameterized. This strategy has been very successful. The dominant fraternity in the meteorological modeling community has appropriated this advantage, and made itself the lead community for climate modeling. Backed by an observational system much more advanced than those in oceanography or other parts of the climate system, they have exploited their lead position for all they can. For them, it is a fortunate coincidence that the dominant synoptic systems in the atmosphere have scales on the order of many hundreds of kilometers, so that the shortcomings of the parameterizations and the observation network, including weather satellite coverage, do not prevent skillful predictions several days ahead.

A climate model, however, has to deal with the entire climate system, which does include the world’s oceans. The oceans constitute a crucial slow component of the climate system. Crucial, because this is where most of the accessible heat in the system is stored. Meteorologists tend to forget that just a few meters of water contain as much heat as the entire atmosphere. Also, the oceans are the main source of the water vapor that makes atmospheric dynamics on our planet both interesting and exceedingly complicated. For these and other reasons, an explicit representation of the oceans should be the core of any self-respecting climate model. 

However, the observational systems for the oceans are primitive in comparison with their atmospheric counterparts. Satellites that can keep track of what happens below the surface of the ocean have limited spatial and temporalresolution. Also, the scale of synoptic motions in the ocean is much smaller than that of cyclones in the atmosphere, requiring a spatial resolution in numerical models and in the observation network beyond the capabilities of present observational systems and supercomputers. We cannot observe, for example, the vertical and horizontal structure of temperature, salinity and motion of eddies in the Gulf Stream in real time with sufficient detail, and cannot model them at the detail that is needed because of computer limitations. How, for goodness’ sake, can we then reliably compute their contribution to multi-decadal changes in the meridional transport of heat? Are the crude parameterizations used in practice up to the task of skillfully predicting the physical processes in the ocean several tens of years ahead? I submit they are not.

Since heat storage and heat transport in the oceans are crucial to the dynamics of the climate system, yet cannot be properly observed or modeled, one has to admit that claims about the predictive performance of climate models are built on quicksand. Climate modelers claiming predictive skill decades into the future operate in a fantasy world, where they have to fiddle with the numerous knobs of the parameterizations to produce results that have some semblance of veracity. Firm footing? Forget it!

Gavin Schmidt is not the only meteorologist with an inadequate grasp of the role of the oceans in the climate system. In my weblog of June 24, 2008, I addressed the limited perception that at least one other climate modeler appears to have. A few lines from that essay deserve repeating here. In response to a paper by Tim Palmer of ECMWF, I wrote: “Palmer et al. seem to forget that, though weather forecasting is focused on the rapid succession of atmospheric events, climate forecasting has to focus on the slow evolution of the circulation in the world ocean and slow changes in land use and natural vegetation. In the evolution of the Slow Manifold (to borrow a term coined by Ed Lorenz) the atmosphere acts primarily as stochastic high-frequency noise. If I were still young, I would attempt to build a conceptual climate model based on a deterministic representation of the world ocean and a stochastic representation of synoptic activity in the atmosphere.”

From my perspective it is not a little bit alarming that the current generation of climate models cannot simulate such fundamental phenomena as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. I will not trust any climate model until and unless it can accurately represent the PDO and other slow features of the world ocean circulation. Even then, I would remain skeptical about the potential predictive skill of such a model many tens of years into the future.


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Submitted Paper “Assessment Of Temperature Trends In The Troposphere Deduced From Thermal Winds By Pielke Sr. Et Al

Yesterday, Climate Audit announced the submission of a paper on tropospheric temperature trends (see).

We have also submitted a paper which relates to his study. It is

Pielke Sr., R.A., T.N. Chase, J.R. Christy, B. Herman, and J.J. Hnilo, 2009: Assessment of temperature trends in the troposphere deduced from thermal winds. Int. J. Climatol., submitted

“Recent work has concluded that there has been significant warming in the tropical upper troposphere using the thermal wind equation to diagnose temperature trends from observed winds; a result which diverges from all other observational data. In our paper we examine evidence for this conclusion from a variety of directions and find that evidence for a significant tropical tropospheric warming is weak. In support of this
conclusion we provide evidence that, for the period 1979-2007, except for the highest latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, both the thermal wind, as estimated by the zonal averaged 200 hPa wind and the tropospheric layer-averaged temperature, are consistent with each other, and show no statistically significant trends.”

Our conclusion reads

“Our paper demonstrates that there are significant uncertainties in using the TWE [thermal wind equation] to diagnose tropical temperature trends. Results using the TWE in the deep tropics are in significant disagreement with all other observational data. We have also provided evidence that the TWE is less robust and subject to higher variability and error than other available data. Use of the TWE is not physically appropriate in deep tropical latitudes and near the tropopause it can be affected by the reversal of temperature gradients should the tropopause be crossed. For these reasons we conclude that the diagnosis of an upper tropospheric warming in the tropics using the thermal wind is not likely to be accurate.”

We weblogged on this issue in response to two Nature articles last year; see

Use Of Winds To Diagnose Long Term Temperature Trends – Two New Papers

Comments On The Science In The Nature Paper By Allen and Sherwood

Wind Changes over Time and Space as a Climate Metric to Diagnose Temperature Trends.



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New Method For Estimating The Impact Of Heterogeneous Forcing On Atmospheric Circulations by Vukicevic et al. 2009

Our research has shown that the forcing of weather systems from diabatic heating by the human input of aerosols is on the order of 60 times that of the forcing from the diabatic heating due to the human addition of well-mixed greenhouse gases (with the dominate gas being CO2); i.e. see

Matsui, T., and R.A. Pielke Sr., 2006: Measurement-based estimation of the spatial gradient of aerosol radiative forcing. Geophys. Res. Letts., 33, L11813, doi:10.1029/2006GL025974.

We now have a new paper that presents a quantitative methodology to assess the importance of this type of climate forcing. It is

Vukicevic, T., R. A. Pielke Sr., and A. Beltran-Przekurat, 2009: New Method For Estimating The Impact Of Heterogeneous Forcing On Atmospheric Circulations. J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1029/2008JD010418, in press.

The abstract reads

“In this study a new method for estimating the impact of heterogeneous forcing on atmospheric circulations is discussed. This new method is similar to the commonly used model-based sensitivity studies in that the impact of forcing is diagnosed by a suitable measure of differences between atmospheric states with and without forcing, but differs in the way the atmospheric states are evaluated: by combining standard atmospheric data analysis, observationally-based estimates of the forcing, atmospheric observations and general circulation model (GCM) ensemble simulations. A new numerical technique, derived from the Ensemble Kalman Filter data assimilation approach, is used for
objective estimation of the atmospheric state not affected by the forcing. Using a tutorial example, numerical experiments were conducted varying an asymmetric thermal forcing as a proxy for the heterogeneous forcing. Results show that the method is capable of producing skilled estimates of the impact of the forcing. Strategies for application of the method with real-world data and GCMs are discussed. This new method is expected to produce more realistic estimates of the forcing impact than the standard model sensitivity approach because of the explicit use of the observationally-based estimates of atmospheric states and forcing.”

The importance of this study is that assessment groups, such as the IPCC, have a new tool with which to broaden their evaluations of the role of humans within the climate system. Climate modeling groups are urged to adopt this tool, or a similar approach, to better quantify the role of spatial variations in human climate forcings on weather and climate.

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New Weblog By Bruce Hall On “Decadal Occurrences Of Maximum Statewide Temperature Records”

A very informative weblog has been posted today by Bruce Hall on the “Decadal Occurrences Of Maximum Statewide Temperature Records“. This is a valuable contribution to the analysis of long term climate extremes.

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A New Paper From Model Based Parameterizations To Lookup Tables: An EOF Approach By Leoncini et al paper 2008

We have a new research paper that has been published. This paper applies a new methodology that we reported on in

Pielke Sr., R.A., T. Matsui, G. Leoncini, T. Nobis, U. Nair, E. Lu, J. Eastman, S. Kumar, C. Peters-Lidard, Y. Tian, and R. Walko, 2006: A new paradigm for parameterizations in numerical weather prediction and other atmospheric models. National Wea. Digest, 30, 93-99.

In that paper, we wrote

“Superparameterization embedded, Multi-Modeling Frameworks (MMF) are ….under development at several institutions, and there are plans to create global cloud libraries which includes detailed mass and energy output from cloud resolving models. With the LUT-based approach, the superparameterization approach could be used much more efficiently since the simulations (e.g., the 3-D cloud model) are integrated oflline, and the results are archived in a database for future retrieval.”

In our new paper, we demonstrate, using a radiation parameterization, that the LUT-based aproach is a computationally efficient method to replace existing parameterization approaches and as an effective alternative to the MMF approach.

Our new 2008 paper also further demonstrates that the answers provided on Real Climate by Gavin Schmidt with respect to parameterizations (see) do not adequately recognize that parameterizations in weather and climate models are engineering code. They are not basic physics.

Our paper is

 Leoncini, G., R.A. Pielke Sr., and P. Gabriel, 2008: From model based parameterizations to Lookup Tables: An EOF approach. Wea. Forecasting, 23, 1127.1145.

The abstract reads

“The goal of this study is to transform the Harrington radiation parameterization into a transfer scheme
or lookup table, which provides essentially the same output (heating rate profile and short- and longwave
fluxes at the surface) at a fraction of the computational cost. The methodology put forth here does not
introduce a new parameterization simply derived from the Harrington scheme but, rather, shows that given
a generic parameterization it is possible to build an algorithm, largely not based on the physics, that mimics
the outcome of the parent parameterization. The core concept is to compute the empiricalorthogonal
functions (EOFs) of all of the input variables of the parent scheme, run the scheme on the EOFs, and
express the output of a generic input sounding exploiting the input–output pairs associated with the EOFs.
The weights are based on the difference between the input and EOFs water vapor mixing ratios. A detailed
overview of the algorithm and the development of a few transfer schemes are also presented. Results show
very good agreement (r > 0.91) between the different transfer schemes and the Harrington radiation
parameterization with a very significant reduction in computational cost (at least 95%).”

The conclusion ends with

“While this study is limited to the Harrington radiation parameterization, it is reasonable to believe that the same methodology can be extended to a cloudy sky and applied to other parameterizations with similar results, as first envisioned in Pielke et al. (2006).”


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Reply By Pielke Et Al To The Comment By Parker Et Al. On Our 2007 JGR paper “Unresolved Issues With The Assessment Of Multi-Decadal Global Land Surface Temperature Trends”

In 2007, we published the paper

Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, D. Niyogi, S. Fall, J. Steinweg-Woods, K. Hubbard, X. Lin, M. Cai, Y.-K. Lim, H. Li, J. Nielsen-Gammon, K. Gallo, R. Hale, R. Mahmood, S. Foster, R.T. McNider, and P. Blanken, 2007: Unresolved issues with the assessment of multi-decadal global land surface temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D24S08, doi:10.1029/2006JD008229.

The is a Comment by Parker et al in press in JGR-Atmospheres on our 2007 paper. It is

Parker, D. E., P. Jones, T. C. Peterson, and J. Kennedy (2009), Comment on ‘Unresolved Issues with the Assessment of Multi-Decadal Global Land Surface Temperature Trends’ by Roger A. Pielke, Sr. et al., J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1029/2008JD010450, in press.

Their conclusion reads

 “Prompted by Pielke et al. [2007]’s concerns, we have provided an additional
demonstration of the robustness of global and hemispheric land surface air
temperature series. We have shown that Pielke et al [ 2007]’s attribution of changed
temperature trends to local LULC changes is not firmly based. We nevertheless
agree with Pielke et al. [2007] in aspirations for an improved global network
monitoring all Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Essential Climate Variables
including humidity as well as temperature; for universal adherence to the GCOS
Climate Monitoring Principles
( which
include the availability of full metadata such as photographic documentation; and for
as well as the rescue and digitization of all historical data.”

Our Reply is also in press. It is

Pielke Sr., R. A., C. A. Davey, D. Niyogi, S. Fall, J. Steinweg-Woods, K. Hubbard, X. Lin, M. Cai, Y.-K. Lim, H. Li, J. Nielsen-Gammon, K. Gallo, R. Hale, R. Mahmood, S. Foster, R. T. McNider, and P. Blanken (2009), Reply to comment by David E. Parker, Phil Jones, Thomas C. Peterson, and John Kennedy on ‘Unresolved Issues with the Assessment of Multi-Decadal Global Land Surface Temperature Trends’ . J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1029/2008JD010938, in press. [the AGU on-line version is at].

Our conclusion reads

“We welcome a critical examination and further analysis of each of the arguments and findings in Pielke et al. [2007a]. Indeed, we are continuing this further assessment; e.g., see Lin et al. [2007]. However, the analyses performed by Parker et al. [2008] do little to improve confidence in the global surface temperature record. In particular, we reaffirm the statement in Pielke et al. [2007a] that nearby changes in LULC may be influencing the temperature trends observed at surface climate observing stations. We further continue to emphasize the lack of data independence in the global surface temperature analyses [including that of Parker et al. 2008]. We do agree with Parker et al. [2008] that data sparseness makes temperature trend estimates less robust over many parts of the globe, and join their call for improved data collection, metadata, and data rescue.”

It is useful also to see the Reviewers’s assessment of the Comment and Reply. This information is reproduced below.

 Reviewer Comments

Reviewer #1 (Comments):

Comments on the m/s, “Reply to comment by Parker et al., on “Unresolved Issues with the Assessment of Multi-Decadal Global Land surface Temperature Trends” by Pielke et al.

Parker et al. [2008] has raised two issues with the analysis of Pielke et al. [2008] on the surface temperature trends utilizing climate data records. In response to that criticism, the authors has dwelled on the details on how Pielke et al. [2008] conducted their analysis and arrived at their conclusions on two major aspects of their analysis. Also, the authors argue how and why Parker et al. comments are biased and present examples from the literature in support of their arguements.

 On the first issue, the authors provide a detailed response and show that one needs to follow a rigorous and standardized methodology in performing analyses as conclusions obtained from such analyses critically depend on such data processing methodologies. Based on the arguments presented by the authors, I do believe Parker et al. [2008] was incorrect in raising the issue of the degree of dependence in the analyses presented by Pielke et al. [2008].

In regards to SST trends that was presented by Parker et al. [2008], the authors provide very convincing arguments and cite several reported trends that were documented in the literature. As stated by the authors, I personally agree that it is difficult to extend the findings of temperature trends over land to that of ocean or vice versa. At the outset, on the second issue about LULC effects on the surface temperature trends, I stand by the authors’ statement that the near-by land-use changes impact the surface temperature trends.

I believe that this process of “fact finding” will eventually lead to the documentation of pros and cons of following a particular methodology, biases in such a methodology, and ultimately helps to standardize various aspects of data processing (e.g., homogenization). Finally, the outcome from these series of exchanges will solidify the confidence levels in such analyses and also provide standardized guidance to the climate data analysis community.

Reviewer #1 (Highlight):

This m/s is a part of ongoing scientific exchanges between the author and a scientist who was critical about the original works presented by the authors. At the end of this series of exchanges, I believe the outcome will shed light on the correct way of processing and analyzing global climate data records and interpretation of surface temperature trends.
Reviewer #2 (Comments):

“Reply to “Comment” by David E. Parker et al….”

By Pielke, Sr. et al. (hereafter “Reply”)

My remarks are below. Overall, this response is a reasonable reply to Parker et al. 2008 but I would recommend my four remarks be dealt with in the Reply.

Ln 62ff. The Reply deals here with only US station records while the Comment deals with global analyses. The real independence issue is with HadCRU (i.e. global) as described in Brohan et al. I suspect that few of the 82% remaining un-adjusted stations would have been adjusted prior to arriving at CRU though the Reply offers the assertion that the number is “possibly very large”. My understanding is that the raw data used by CRU does not have adjustments applied prior to its receipt at the Hadley Centre from whence it is sent to CRU for compilation. What evidence does the Reply offer to back up the assertion? (An email to P. Jones would answer this.)

Ln 107ff The Reply is correct that neither of the two Vose et al. 2005 papers looked at Lugina et al.’s dataset as claimed by the Comment (I missed that in my earlier review). As I understand it Lugina et al. is a dataset of near-surface land temperatures only. It has never achieved a notable level of acceptance in surface temperature analyses and certainly is not independent from the other datasets in terms of source data. In my experience in major assessments where this dataset was discussed I recall that questionable practices were used. If I remember correctly, one of the procedures was to relax toward climatology (i.e. zero anomaly) for missing regions – so that the magnitude of trends would indeed be reduced even on large scales (this was true of the upper air data sets from Russia). I don’t recall a substantial publication published which clearly documented all of the construction procedures. I must add, however, perhaps the assumptions applied in Lugina et al. may actually produce more accurate trends (I can’t say one way or another.) If Lugina used the practice of relaxing toward climatology for missing areas, this should be noted as a reason for the discrepancy.

Ln 116 what were the substantial differences between? Were there substantial differences in trends between closely located stations?

Ln 137ff The analysis of Compo and Sardeshmukh 2008 (Ocean Influences on Recent Continental Warming – CS08) suggests there is a strong connection between land and ocean temperatures regarding long-term trends. That the land responds with a larger magnitude is what would be expected according to CS08 (and in support of the Comment). While the Reply is correct in stating that different local surface temperature processes are involved, CS08 suggests the global circulation creates a situation where the oceans and continents are interdependent enough to support an observable connection as implied in the Comment. How does the Reply deal with CS08? (What is interesting is that CS08 admit the oceanic forcing could be almost entirely natural – and thus the land response would be as well.)

We are pleased that Parker et al engaged in this scientifically constructive debate. We need more such dialog within the climate community.


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Real Climate [Gavin Schmidt] Response To The Climate Science Post “Comments On Real Climate’s Post “FAQ on climate models: Part II”

Further Reply By Gavin Schmidt to this Climate Science posting [his reply to my comment #150].

[Response:Roger, If you think that accusing people of being in a conspiracy to defend the IPCC and imply that disagreeing with you means that people are actively trying to “mislead” the public, is ‘constructive interaction’, you might want to buy a new dictionary. The NRC meeting I attended was a discussion of whether a new report on solar-climate interactions would be helpful for the NRC to do. Most presentations focussed very specifically on solar-climate links. It remains a puzzle to me why you thought the proposed report would be something related to the IPCC report at all. Thus your characterisation of that meeting was, frankly, extremely partial and unfair to the participants and agency reps who attended. Your accusation that I misrepresented that meeting in the comment above is ludicrous.

As for your comments on the above FAQ, I have not yet responded to your comments through lack of time. Hopefully, I will be able to in the future, perhaps when I don’t have to respond to juvenile accusations about my integrity. To be clear, I have the utmost respect for your body of work over your career, but your current style of engagement and constant accusatory tone online is not conducive to ‘constructive interaction’. If that is your aim, you might want to rethink your tactics. - gavin]

I am only going to respond to the one substantive issue that Gavin raises; he writes

“The NRC meeting I attended was a discussion of whether a new report on solar-climate interactions would be helpful for the NRC to do. Most presentations focussed very specifically on solar-climate links. It remains a puzzle to me why you thought the proposed report would be something related to the IPCC report at all.”

To refute Gavin’s claim, I cut and paste below from the strawman document that was circulated prior to the meeting and which we discussed at the NRC meeting; it reads [ the strawman is reproduced in its entirety in Protecting The IPCC Turf - There Are No Independent Climate Assessments Of The IPCC WG1 Report Funded And Sanctioned By The NSF, NASA Or The NRC.]

“In order to understand the solar influence on climate and the atmosphere, it is essential to also understand the contributions of volcanic aerosols, as well as anthropogenic greenhouse gases and tropospheric aerosols, and other human influences such as land use changes, all of which contribute to the observed climate. Furthermore, because there is growing evidence that responses of the climate system to these various influences likely engages and modifies existing circulation patterns, it is necessary to understand pervasive climate processes (e.g., ENSO, NAO, QBO) and centers of action, and their responses to radiative forcings.

Also in need of clarification is the current wide disparity regarding how to achieve and quantify attribution. IPCC studies have primarily utilized simulations by general circulation models, which thus require that the models be sufficiently understood and validated to engender confidence that simulated global and regional fingerprints are realistic. An array of results using various statistical analyses of observations suggests that deficiencies of the climate models may compromise their ability to simulate responses to small radiative forcings, such as by solar variability (Stott et al.; Camp and Tung).

The study under consideration would augment and advance two recent NRC reports on 1) Radiative forcing and 2) Responses, by assessing how the extended complexities of the climate system likely precludes such a separation of forcings and responses, especially in the case of solar variability. A third NRC report assessing surface and atmospheric temperature trends is also relevant since the atmospheric responses to solar forcing becomes increasingly stronger, relative to anthropogenic (and other) influences, at increasing heights above the surface, so that the attribution of anthropogenic change in the troposphere and stratosphere is unlikely to be the same as that of surface temperature. In addressing the regional and altitudinal, as well as global signatures, of climate change the study would also serve to compile current understanding that will be relevant for the next IPCC (for which regional change is expected to be a priority).”

Gavin’s statement, with respect to our NRC committee, that “It remains a puzzle to me why you thought the proposed report would be something related to the IPCC report at all” is quite astonishing. Gavin misinterpreted the charge to our committee by narrowly reading its title Detection and Attribution of the Solar Influence on Climate Change”, instead of also reading the strawman proposal to be discussed by the Committee.

I do respect Gavin’s scientific contributions, and I look forward to the answers to the questions that I presented in my weblog Comments On Real Climate’s Post “FAQ on climate models: Part II”. However, Gavin, so far, is not following the scientific courtesy of constructively debating the issues.

Original Climate Science Post

Gavin Schmidt has responded to the Climate Science request for further information on the Q&A he completed on climate modeling.  His comment is below.

Quite frankly, I am very disappointed by his lack of professional courtesy. He also clearly wants to avoid answering the scientific questions posed in response to his Q&A. He has also decided to misrepresent the NRC meeting.

[Gavin Schmidt Response [see Comment #148]:The balance between justifiable criticism and unjustifiable comments is a fine line (and assessing it is a full time job). Given this is only a part time gig, there will be times when judgment calls go different ways at different times. On balance, I’m going to allow Bloom’s comments to stand (along with your critique) because he alludes to a valid point – not that behaviour or attitude determines the correctness of ones argument (it doesn’t), but that the way one behaves towards colleagues is a big determinant of how much time people will devote to addressing your concerns. Roger’s post on the NRC meeting was very odd, full of unverifiable and untrue suppositions of motives of the people there, and which did not reflect the substantive conversations that actually took place there (which concerned solar impacts on climate, not evaluating the IPCC). It is valid to point this out, as it is valid to note that people need to choose who to interact with (given the limited time everyone has). Respect is very much a two way street. – gavin]

I have tried repeatedly to constructively interact with Real Climate and Gavin Schmidt, in particular, but my interactions with him at the NRC meeting and through his blog comments clearly demonstrate that he is not interested in scientific discourse. He only supports discussing viewpoints that agree with his, and both undertakes himself, and supports ad hominin attacks by others, on those who differ with him in their scientific perspective.  

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Weblogs By My Coauthors Of Our Rejected EOS Forum Article

There are weblogs by my co-authors on our rejected submission to EOS which Climate Science weblogged on yesterday; see

An Obvious Double Standard Adopted By The AGU Publication EOS

Their weblogs are

of consensus and consistency” by Fergus Brown


 “Your opinions, please”by James Annan.

An excerpt from Fergus’s weblog reads

” I would point out here, once again, that the original intention of the research was to try to establish, as far as was possible, what scientists involved in climate-related science honestly thought of the IPCC AR4. There was no agenda, implicit or explicit, to ‘prove’ either that there is or isn’t a ‘consensus’ – in fact, we even avoided the term consciously, choosing ‘agreement’ instead – and the database was as carefully controlled as possible – I would argue, the ‘purest’ of its kind used in any such study to date.

It’s the Old Man’s contention that, with acknowledgement of the legitimate concerns of our critics, our paper remains the most interesting and most relevant of the overt attempts to poll scientists on climate change. I’d also lay odds that a better paper by us, using a comparable database but more carefully prepared and more rigorously managed, would produce very closely comparable results to the original.

So where does all this leave us and our paper? I don’t know that anything has changed, but, since Fred Spilhaus behaved decently to me personally, during our correspondence, and I respect him and his professionalism, I think I’ll write and ask him if a letter, referencing the earlier work, would be, given their apparent chance of editorial heart, sufficiently interesting to publish.

More on this at a later date.”

James wrote

“Long-term readers will remember the saga of our opinion poll which EOS declined to publish, on the basis that EOS should not accept summaries of opinion polls. and that they wanted to focus on science instead (even in the “Forum” section).

What should appear in this week’s EOS but…the summary of an opinion poll! Entitled “Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change” it reports the results of a web-based poll of (mainly) US-based scientists, and reports that – surprise surprise – about 90% of them agree that “human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures

Of course my opinion is likely to be biased, but surely our poll concerning how accurate and representative the IPCC AR4 was in summarising the state of the science, is much more interesting and (potentially) valuable than yet another flogging of the dead horse concerning the mere existence of anthropogenic global warming.”

Climate Science hopes that EOS will eventually see the inconsistancy of their decision and publish a communication in EOS on our survey.


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