Monthly Archives: August 2012

Kumiko Tsujimoto Seminar “Land-Lake-Atmosphere Interaction And Its Associated Local Rainfalls During The Post-Monsoon Season In Cambodia”

I have been alerted to a new colleague who is working on the land-atmosphere interaction issue with respect to land-use/land cover change. Her name is Kumiko Tsujimoto of the Department of Civil Engineering of the University of Tokyo and her biographical sketch is given below. She will be visiting the USA this Fall and as I learn of the  specific  times and locations of her seminar, I will post.

Kumiko Tsujimoto’s Biographical Sketch

My major is hydrology, including both surface hydrology and hydrometeorology. My major study area is Cambodia and I have been working for that country for the past 9 years. Since I have a background on agriculture, global environment studies, and civil engineering, I am interested in how to use the knowledge and technology of hydrology in order to contribute to the disaster mitigation, poverty reduction, and environmental conservation in the developing countries.

Education
March 2009 Ph.D. Civil Engineering, The University of Tokyo
March 2006 M.S. Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University
March 2004 B.S. Agriculture, Kyoto University

Peer-reviewed papers:
1) Takahashi J., T. Katsuyama, K. Tsujimoto, M.Yasunaka; Present State and Prospects of International Research Activities for Food and Water Issues, Journal of the Japanese Society of Irrigation, Drainage and Reclamation Engineering 73(3), 189-193, 2005, in Japanese with English abstract
2) Masumoto T., K. Tsujimoto, H.Somura; Hydro-meteorological Observation and Analysis of Observed Data at Tonle Sap Lake and its Environs, Urban and Paddy Areas, Technical Report of National Institute for Rural Engineering, 206, pp.219-236, 2007, in Japanese with English abstract
3) Tsujimoto K., T. Masumoto and T. Mitsuno, Seasonal changes in radiation and evaporation implied from the diurnal distribution of rainfall in the Lower Mekong, Hydrological Processes, Vol.22, pp.1257-1266, 2008.
4) Tsujimoto K. and T. Koike: Mechanism of locally-induced convection development and its effects on vapour transportation over the Tonle Sap Lake Area, Annual Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 52, 247-252, 2008, in Japanese with English abstract
5) Tsujimoto K., and T. Koike: Effects of the locally-induced precipitation on the stream flow during the dry-season at the vicinities of the Tonle Sap Lake, Annual Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 53, 337-342, 2009, in Japanese with English abstract
6) Tsujimoto K. and T. Koike: Interaction of large-scale atmospheric condition and local circulation which affects Cambodian post-monsoon rainfalls, Annual Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 55, 463-468, 2011, in Japanese with English abstract
7) Tsujimoto K. and T. Koike:Two diurnal cycle systems with different spatial scales and their effects on the post-monsoon rainfall in the inland of the Indochina Peninsula, Journal of Japan Society of Civil Engineering B1 (Hydraulic Engineering) 68-4, I_451~I_456, 2012, in Japanese with English abstract
8) Tsujimoto K. and T. Koike, Requisite conditions for post-monsoon rainfall in Cambodia, Journal of Hydroscience & Hydraulic Engineering, 31-1, 1-14, 2012.

Her provisional abstract for the presentation is

Kumiko Tsujimoto
Research associate

Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Tokyo
Presentation Title:

Land-lake-atmosphere Interaction and its associated local rainfalls during the post-monsoon season in Cambodia

Presentation Abstract

Cambodia is located in the Lower Mekong River Basin, in the Indochina Peninsula. In the center of this country, there is a lake called Tonle Sap Lake. This lake is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and has a very unique hydrological characteristic that its lake area changes dramatically within a year: it is about 2,500km2 at the end of the dry season but it reaches to more than 10,000km2 at the end of the rainy season. This seasonal expansion occurs as a result of the seasonal change of the water level of the Mekong River. Therefore, if the basin development such as dam construction changes the flow regime of the Mekong River, it will in turn change the season al change of the lake area as well.

With this background, this study aims to make an environmental assessment on what will happen by the possible/on-going basin development in the upper Mekong River Basin. The impacts on the local atmospheric water circulation brought by the change of the lake area is focused on, since there have been no studies which target the land-lake-atmosphere interaction.

By integrating numerical models, satellite data, and ground data, the unique local atmospheric water circulation was found and its mechanism was revealed. The mechanism will be highlighted in the presentation.

Although this study is a geophysical research, it was also revealed that this phenomenon brings rainfalls at western Cambodia even after the end of the summer monsoon. Since western Cambodia is the most agriculturally productive area in this country, it would be possible that the locally-driven rainfall by the lake supports the current agricultural system in this region. Therefore, again, the possible/on-going basin development in the upper Mekong River Basin might affect the agricultural production in the granary of Cambodia and thus affect the food security in this country.

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A Comment On The Nature Article – “Time To Raft Up- Climate Scientists Should Learn From The Naysayers And Pull Together To Get Their Message Across, Says Chris Rapley”

There is an interesting Nature article which was published this week

Rapley Chris, 2012: Climate science: Time to raft up.  Nature. 488, 583-585 doi:10.1038/488583a

with the subtitle

Climate scientists should learn from the naysayers and pull together to get their message across, says Chris Rapley.

In this Nature Comment, Chris Rapley makes a serious fundamental error, in my view.  He writes that

“….the voices of dismissal are trumping the messages of science.”

However, in my view, that is not the correct way to frame the problem. One reason that there has been little progress in effective climate policy is that the message on climate science that is presented to the public and policymakers is incorrectly too narrow. Climate issues, as influenced by human activities, are much more than a global average surface temperature anomaly threshold.

The issue of whether limits should be sought on atmospheric concentrations of CO2 is not all there is to the role of humans in the climate system, nor should climate mitigation and adaptation risks not consider the variations and longer term trends in the natural climate system. As Dan Sarewitz and my son said with respect to risks from adding too much CO2 into the atmosphere “We know enough!” on the threat from added CO2.

My son’s book

The Climate Fix by Roger A. Pielke Jr.

makes this case convincingly.

However, the added CO2, as important as it is, is but a part of what humans are doing to the climate.

The need for this broader viewpoint has been emphasized in international and national assessments;

Kabat, P., Claussen, M., Dirmeyer, P.A., J.H.C. Gash, L. Bravo de Guenni, M. Meybeck, R.A. Pielke Sr., C.J. Vorosmarty, R.W.A. Hutjes,             and S. Lutkemeier, Editors, 2004: Vegetation, water, humans and the climate: A new perspective on an interactive system. Springer, Berlin, Global Change – The IGBP Series, 566 pp.

National Research Council, 2005: Radiative forcing of climate change: Expanding the concept and addressing uncertainties. Committee on Radiative Forcing Effects on Climate Change, Climate Research Committee, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Division on Earth and Life Studies, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 208 pp.

but the leadership of the climate science community who are communicating with policymakers and the public are ignoring these assessments.

This was the reason we wrote our paper [of which all of the authors are AGU Fellows]

Pielke Sr., R., K.  Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. Chahine, R. Dickerson, D.  Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E.  Philip Krider, W. K.M. Lau, J. McDonnell,  W. Rossow,  J. Schaake, J.  Smith, S. Sorooshian,  and E. Wood, 2009: Climate change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases.   Eos, Vol. 90, No. 45, 10 November 2009, 413. Copyright (2009) American   Geophysical Union.

As just two examples, first in my post from yesterday

Follow Up On The AMS Statement On “Climate Change’

after a set of e-mail exchanges, Danny Rosenfeld agreed that

1. On a regional scale, the aerosols can be the dominant anthropogenic climate forcing.

2. On a global scale, the aerosols might be in par with the GHG. We just don’t know

In our paper,

Pielke Sr., R.A., A. Pitman, D. Niyogi, R. Mahmood, C. McAlpine, F. Hossain, K. Goldewijk, U. Nair, R. Betts, S. Fall, M. Reichstein, P. Kabat, and N. de Noblet-Ducoudré, 2011: Land  use/land cover changes and climate: Modeling analysis  and  observational evidence. WIREs Clim Change 2011, 2:828–850. doi: 10.1002/wcc.144

the abstract reads

This article summarizes the changes in landscape structure because of human land management over the last several centuries, and using observed and modeled data, documents how these changes have altered biogeophysical and biogeochemical surface fluxes on the local, mesoscale, and regional scales. Remaining research issues are presented including whether these landscape changes alter large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns far from where the land use and land cover changes occur. We conclude that existing climate assessments have not yet adequately factored in this climate forcing. We conclude that existing climate assessments have not yet adequately factored in this climate forcing. For those regions that have undergone intensive human landscape change, or would undergo intensive change in the future, we conclude that the failure to factor in this forcing risks a misalignment of investment in climate mitigation and adaptation.

The public is more perceptive of reality than is often realized. It is the neglect of proper consideration of the actual diversity of climate science issues that, I feel, explains at least part of what Chris reported in the Nature article as

A recent UK survey found that about one-third of the public agrees with the statement “We can trust climate scientists to tell us the truth about climate change” and that about one-third disagrees.

As a way forward, we have proposed a different approach that is in summarized in our paper

Pielke Sr., R.A., R. Wilby, D. Niyogi, F. Hossain, K. Dairuku, J. Adegoke, G. Kallos, T. Seastedt, and K. Suding, 2012: Dealing  with complexity and extreme events using a bottom-up, resource-based  vulnerability perspective. AGU Monograph on Complexity and  Extreme Events in Geosciences, in press.

where our abstract reads

We discuss the adoption of a bottom-up, resource–based vulnerability approach in evaluating the effect of climate and other environmental and societal threats to societally critical resources. This vulnerability concept requires the determination of the major threats to local and regional water, food, energy, human health, and ecosystem function resources from extreme events including climate, but also from other social and environmental issues. After these threats are identified for each resource, then the relative risks can be compared with other risks in order to adopt optimal preferred mitigation/adaptation strategies.

This is a more inclusive way of assessing risks, including from climate variability and climate change than using the outcome vulnerability approach adopted by the IPCC. A contextual vulnerability assessment, using the bottom-up, resource-based framework is a more inclusive approach for policymakers to adopt effective mitigation and adaptation methodologies to deal with the complexity of the spectrum of social and environmental extreme events that will occur in the coming decades, as the range of threats are assessed, beyond just the focus on CO2 and a few other greenhouse gases as emphasized in the IPCC assessments.

The adoption of the bott0m-up, contextual vulnerability approach fits better with the concept of the “honest broker” as discussed in my son’s book

The Honest Broker: Making Sense of Science in Policy and Politics by Roger A. Pielke Jr.

than does the current climate science leadership’s excessively narrow top-down, outcome vulnerability approach. In my view, the “naysayers” include this leadership, as exemplified by the new AMS Statement on Climate Change.  I recommend rewriting what Chris Rapley writes to

Climate scientists should include the diversity of perspectives on the role of humans and natural processes and pull together to get this broader message across.

Then, perhaps, by using the bottom-up, contextual vulnerability approach, we can then finally make progress not only on the CO2 issue, but also on all of the other aspects of risks from the climate system.

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Follow Up On The AMS Statement On “Climate Change’

In response to my post

Contradictory Statements By The American Meteorological Society – Comments On The New Statement Titled “Climate Change”

I communicated to the Committee members of our Statements on Weather Modification (of which I am a member and in which Danny Rosenfeld is the Chair).  With their permissions, I have reproduced our e-mail exchanges below with several members of the Committee (with their permission). These colleagues are each internationally well-respected scientists:

1. Danny Rosenfeld of the University in Jerusalem

2. Alan Robock of Rutgers University

3.  Bob Bornstein of San Jose State University

The bottom line conclusion by Danny in his last e-mail fits with my view of this subject.

My Initial E-Mail To Danny

Hi Danny

In your request for input you asked whether we should consider revising any of the policy statements. The release today of the AMS Statement on Climate Change clearly ignores what we concluded in our Statement on Inadvertant Weather Modification. Thus I recommend consideration of a revision that corrects their excessively narrow view on how humans are altering the climate and the impact of natural variations in climate such as reported, for example, in Shaun Lovejoy’s new paper

“The Climate Is Not What You Expect” By S. Lovejoy and D. Schertzer 2012 [submitted to BAMS]

that I posted on in

Excellent New Paper “The Climate Is Not What You Expect” By Lovejoy and Schertzer 2012

I have posted today on the conflict between the two AMS Statements (the new one on Climate Change and ours on Inadvertant Weather Modification) in my post

Contradictory Statements By The American Meteorological Society – Comments On The New Statement Titled “Climate Change”

I would, based on their new Statement, be interested in addressing this issue in a revised Statement on Inadvertant Weather Modification. .

Best Regards

Roger

Danny’s Reply

Hi Roger,

It seems to me that the new AMS statement on climate change does recognize the roles of aerosols, land use changes and other factors apart from CO2. See the quote below.

“Human activity also affects climate through changes in the number and physical properties of tiny solid particles and liquid droplets in the atmosphere, known collectively as atmospheric aerosols. Examples of aerosols include dust, sea salt, and sulfates from air pollution. Aerosols have a variety of climate effects. They absorb and redirect solar energy from the sun and thermal energy emitted by Earth, emit energy themselves, and modify the ability of clouds to reflect sunlight and to produce precipitation. Aerosols can both strengthen and weaken greenhouse warming, depending on their characteristics. Most aerosols originating from human activity act to cool the planet and so partly counteract greenhouse gas warming effects. Aerosols lofted into the stratosphere [between about 13 km (8 miles) and 50 km (30 miles) altitude above the surface] by occasional large sulfur-rich volcanic eruptions can reduce global surface temperature for several years. By contrast, carbon soot from incomplete combustion of fossil fuels warms the planet, so that decreases in soot would reduce warming. Aerosols have lifetimes in the troposphere [at altitudes up to approximately 13 km (8 miles) from the surface in the middle latitudes] on the order of one week, much shorter than that of most greenhouse gases, and their prevalence and properties can vary widely by region.

Land surface changes can also affect the surface exchanges of water and energy with the atmosphere. Humans alter land surface characteristics by carrying out irrigation, removing and introducing forests, changing vegetative land cover through agriculture, and building cities and reservoirs. These changes can have significant effects on local-to-regional climate patterns, which adds up to a small impact on the global energy balance as well.”

Changes in aerosols and land use are major components in the anthropogenic-forced changes of Earth energy budget, and we cant get both weather and climate right without quantifying their effects, and much less the climate change.

But I would defend the emphasis on the greenhouse gases as being pointed out in the new statement as the dominant cause for warming trend in the last half century. While aerosols have not risen systematically during that period (re global deeming and brightening), CO2 and other GHGs did.

What do I miss here?

Best regards,
Danny

My Follow-Up

Hi Danny

Thank you for the quick reply. The paragraph that I highlighted in my post

“It is clear from extensive scientific evidence that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbons, methane, and nitrous oxide. The most important of these over the long term is CO2, whose concentration in the atmosphere is rising principally as a result of fossil-fuel combustion and deforestation.”

conflicts with our Statement and a wide range of other findings reported in the literature. Their statement of hindcast model quality of climate change can easily be shown to be false.

Best Regards

My Further Comment

P.S. The AMS Statement itself contradicts itself. It writes

“Land surface changes can also affect the surface exchanges of water and energy with the atmosphere. Humans alter land surface characteristics by carrying out irrigation, removing and introducing forests, changing vegetative land cover through agriculture, and building cities and reservoirs. These changes can have significant effects on local-to-regional climate patterns, which adds up to a small impact on the global energy balance as well.”

yet earlier highlights that

“…the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbons, methane, and nitrous oxide. The most important of these over the long term is CO2..”

It is clear the Statement was not even probably vetted for internal inconsistencies. If they write

‘the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases”

and later write

“Humans alter land surface characteristics by carrying out irrigation, removing and introducing forests, changing vegetative land cover through agriculture, and building cities and reservoirs. These changes can have significant effects on local-to-regional climate patterns’

yet dismiss their importance because they add “up to a small impact on the global energy balance ….”

trivialize, as I read the Statement, their role in climate change.

Roger

Bob Bornstein’s Comment

Hi all

I agree with Danny that aerosols are acknowledged as a source of change, but we could further discuss a possible revised statement (if the AMS is willing to accept one from us at this time) at our Jan committee meeting.

My Reply to Bob

Hi Bob.  Acknowledging aerosols as a source of change is not the issue. It is their identification of CO2 and a few other greenhouse gases as the dominant climate forcing. It is just one of a suite of first order human climate forcings, in my view.  If we share that view, then the AMS Statement is not accurate.

Best Regards

Roger

Alan Robock’s Comment

Dear All,

I see no conflict between the two AMS statements. The new one addresses global climate, and recognizes regional impacts of aerosols and land surface changes, which is what the older statement says. What is the problem? Blog posts and submitted papers are not sufficient evidence to do anything. I don’t understand what changes would be made in the Statement on Inadvertant Weather Modification. Anyway, it addresses weather and not climate.

My Reply to Alan

Hi Alan

I list peer reviewed papers that conflict with the AMS Statement. These are not submitted papers. The blog posts are just used to communicate these papers and the NRC assessment to others. Also we discuss climate in our Inadvertent Weather Modification Statement.

Alan’s Reply

Dear Roger,

Yes, you can post my comments as long as you include this one:

Clearly regional climate change is affected by land use and aerosols. But for the global average climate, the dominant forcing is the increase of anthropogenic greenhouse gases. Global warming is reduced by the net effect of tropospheric aerosols, but it continues because the greenhouse gas emissions and current concentrations still produce a net positive radiative forcing.

Your claims seem to imply that greenhouse gas emissions are not a serious environmental hazard. Don’t you think that global warming is dangerous and that continued greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide, should be reduced as soon as we can? Or are you against mitigation?

My Reply to Alan

Hi Alan

Thank you for your permission. I will certainly include what you wrote.

In terms of your question, I agree with you that the continued elevation of atmospheric concentrations of CO2 is a major concern. We are entering uncharted territory, and the less regrets approach must be to seek effective ways to limit this increase in CO2.

My even greater concern, however, with respect to CO2 is in its biogeochemical effect (to the biosphere). Even if there were only a relatively small contribution to global warming from CO2, the effect on plant diversity (e.g. genetic response), plant function, etc could be very significant, and we do not understand the risks that society and the environment face from this biogeochemical effect.

Progress to develop effective mitigation and adaptation policies are being significantly hampered, in my view, by

i) the assumption that the multi-decadal global models are providing us with skillful predictions for the coming decades(and skillful hindcast attribution simulations); the are not – e.g. see

CMIP5 Climate Model Runs – A Scientifically Flawed Approach

where peer reviewed papers indicate that this assumption has failed so far

and

ii) that a focus on global warming when we communicate to policymakers, rather than on all of the climate forcings and feedbacks, is one reason that action on mitigating climate risks (including from added CO2) has been so ineffective. We need a more inclusive approach; win-win policies; e.g. see

A Win-Win Solution to Environmental Problems

to build consensus has to how to move forward [I subscribe to the approach my son advocates in his book “the Climate Fix” with respect to how to deal with the CO2 part of climate].

I hope this clarifies my perspective. In terms of the new AMS Statement on Climate Change, they fail, in my view, to accurately present the issue of climate.

Best Regards

Roger

Danny’s Further Comment

Hi Roger,

I don’t really see the problem with the AMS statement on climate change.

It does not undervalue the role of aerosols and land use in altering the climate. It merely states that the trend in the anthropogenic climate forcing was dominated by increasing GHG (while other components of the forcing had not such a clear rising trend during the last 50 years). Then it makes the connection between the trends in rising GHG and global temperatures.

Otherwise, your reservations might come across as if you dispute the notion that increasing GHG is causing increasing global temperatures. Did you really mean that?

Best regards,
Danny

My Reply to Danny

Hi Danny

I disagree with this claim

“the anthropogenic climate forcing was dominated by increasing GHG”.

This claim is clearly inaccurate. I am surprised that you accept this as your work shows that aerosols from human activities have altered CCN concentrations globally.

Flood or Drought: How Do Aerosols Affect Precipitation? by Daniel Rosenfeld, Ulrike Lohmann, Graciela B. Raga, Colin D. O’Dowd, Markku Kulmala, Sandro Fuzzi, Anni Reissell, Meinrat O. Andreae, Science 5 September 2008: Vol. 321. no. 5894, pp. 1309 – 1313 DOI: 10.1126/science.1160606.

In that paper you wrote

“….before humankind started to change the environment, aerosol concentrations were not much greater (up to double) over land than over the oceans… “

In the paper

Andreae and Rosenfeld, 2008: Aerosol–cloud–precipitation interactions. Part 1. The nature and sources of cloud-active aerosols. Earth System Reviews.

you wrote

“There is now clear and rapidly growing evidence that atmospheric aerosols have profound impacts on the thermodynamic and radiative energy budgets of the Earth…”

“Model calculations and observations in remote continental regions consistently suggest that CCN concentrations over the pristine continents were similar to those now prevailing over the remote oceans, suggesting that human activities have modified cloud microphysics more than what is reflected in conventional wisdom.”

I could list similar findings with respect to LULCC.

The increasing GHG did not dominate anthropogenic climate forcing over the last decades. Unfortunately, the human effects are more serious than that.

With respect to your question as to whether I dispute the notion that increasing GHGs is causing increasing global temperatures, clearly added CO2 and other greenhouse gases is a first-order positive radiative forcing. Clearly, I agree that increasing GHGs are contributing to an increase.

Its relative contribution to the observed global warming (which is best diagnosed by changes in upper ocean heat content), however, is still uncertain due to

i) aerosol effects; where you wrote in your June 2, 2006 Science Perspective article on the role of aerosols entitled “Aerosols, Clouds, and Climate

“These aerosol effects are poorly quantified and represent the greatest uncertainty in our understanding of the climate system.”

ii) solar effects – e.g. see

Lean, J. L., and D. H. Rind (2009): How Will Earth’s Surface Temperature Change in Future Decades?,
Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2009GL038932, in press. (accepted 9 July 2009).

iii) natural variations – e.g. see

“The Climate Is Not What You Expect” By S. Lovejoy and D. Schertzer 2012 [submitted to BAMS]

iv) land use/land cover effects – which in a global average change in heat content seem to average out, but have large regional effects on climate and the resultant effect on cloud cover is not known; e.g.

Pielke Sr., R.A., A. Pitman, D. Niyogi, R. Mahmood, C. McAlpine, F. Hossain, K. Goldewijk, U. Nair, R. Betts, S. Fall, M. Reichstein, P. Kabat, and N. de Noblet-Ducoudré, 2011: Land use/land cover changes and climate: Modeling analysis and observational evidence. WIREs Clim Change 2011, 2:828–850. doi: 10.1002/wcc.144.

Finally, it seems that we have a disagreement as to what is meant by anthropogenic climate forcing. In my view, it is much more than a change in the global average temperature (or global average TOA radiative imbalance).

Global scale effects on climate can occur due to alterations in regional atmospheric and ocean circulations due to regionally heterogeneous human-caused aerosol and land use/land cover changes, even if the global average radiative imbalance was not changed. In my view, this is the more serious issue, as droughts, floods, hurricane tracks, etc are associated with regional circulations patterns (including the NAO, PDO, ENSO etc), with a global average increase in average temperature only a relatively small contributor; e.g. see John Neilsen-Gammon’s analysis

http://blog.chron.com/climateabyss/2012/07/twenty-times-more-likely-not-the-science/

I wrote on the misleading use of the term “climate change” in my post

The Need For Precise Definitions In Climate Science – The Misuse Of The Terminology “Climate Change”

where I propose these two definitions

Global Warming is an increase in the global annual average heat content measured in Joules.

Climate Change is any multi-decadal or longer alteration in one or more physical, chemical and/or biological components of the climate system.

The National Research Council report

National Research Council, 2005: Radiative forcing of climate change: Expanding the concept and addressing uncertainties.Committee on Radiative Forcing Effects on Climate Change, Climate Research Committee, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Division on Earth and Life Studies, The National Academies Press, Washington,D.C., 208 pp

reinforces the need for this broader view.

In terms of seeking to mitigate and adapt to the effect of humans on the climate system, I have concluded that the focus on CO2 and a few other greenhouse gases as the dominate concern is not only inaccurate, but will lead to poor policy decisions.

Finally, do I have your permission (and Alan yours too) to post our e-mail exchanges on my weblog?

Best regards

Roger

Danny’s Comment [my highlight added]

Hi Roger,

Thanks for your elaboration and clarifications. I agree that my statement to which you did not agree:

“the anthropogenic climate forcing was dominated by increasing GHG”.

should be qualified to the climate scale.

Here we need indeed to separate the effects on regional and weather scales from the global and climate scales, as Lovejoy has now so nicely defined.

The amounts of anthropogenic aerosols on a global scale probably have already peaked. But the GHG concentrations keep accelerating. This means that the GHG dominate the trend of the globally averaged long term trend of the temperature, but at the regional scale other effects may dominate the trends of temperature and other parameters.

The meaning of the main points that I have been making in the publications that you have referenced are:

1. On a regional scale, the aerosols can be the dominant anthropogenic climate forcing.

2. On a global scale, the aerosols might be in par with the GHG. We just don’t know.

The inability to quantify the possibly large radiative forcing prevents us from quantifying adequately the climate sensitivity and hence from predicting the expected global warming due to a given added GHG-induced radiative forcing. This does not contradict the AMS statement that “the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past  half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse  gases”.

This is in fact a discussion on the boundary between weather modification and climate change. The impacts on the ecosystems certainly happen at the regional scales.

So where do we put the distinction between weather modification and climate change?

Roger, Your discussion has been very helpful to recognize this as a major question and the confusion that it incurs, which we as a committee need to address, and perhaps negotiate with the AMS committee on climate variability and change.

Thanks and best regards, Danny

My Reply to Danny

Hi Danny

Thank you for the further follow up. You raise an important issue -

What is the distinction between weather modification and climate change?

In the 2005 NRC report, we defined climate in Figure 1-1 [http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11175&page=12] as

“The climate system, consisting of the atmosphere, oceans, land, and cryosphere. Important state variables for each sphere of the climate system are listed in the boxes. For the purposes of this report, the Sun, volcanic emissions, and human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases and changes to the land surface are considered external to the climate system.”

It seems to me that weather is necessarily a component of the climate system. One can separate by averaging time (i.e. long term statistics), but this is clearly quite arbitrary. We often, for example,talk about the “microclimate” of a location and use this information to explain variations in local weather observations. Many use “seasonal climate predictions” when what they really mean are “season averaged weather statistics”.

On Shaun Lovejoy’s paper, he and I discussed more on the chaotic character of the climate system in a set of e-mails as reported in my post

Excellent New Paper “The Climate Is Not What You Expect” By Lovejoy and Schertzer 2012.

There does need to be a clearer (overdue in my view) definition of terminology and the AMS committees provide one effective set of venues to do this.

On your comment that the aerosol effect may have peaked, hopefully this is true. I agree it is not true for the GHGs. However, it is also not true of LULCC; e.g. see

Fragkias, F. and K.C. Seto, 2012: The rise and rise of urban expansion Urban land area has expanded globally during the past few decades – a trend that looks set to continue in the foreseeable future. IGBP Newsletter, 78. March 2012.

in my post

2012 IGBP Article “Cities Expand By Area Equal To France, Germany And Spain Combined In Less Than 20 years”

Can I post our e-mail exchanges? Alan (and Bob) have okayed his.

Best Regards

Roger

Danny’s Reply

Hi Roger,

Yes, you can post our email exchange.

Best regards, Danny

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Contradictory Statements By The American Meteorological Society – Comments On The New Statement Titled “Climate Change”

Update: In response to a request for further inconsistencies in the AMS Statement, I have reproduced my comment to a colleague of mine

The AMS Statement itself contradicts itself. It writes

“Land surface changes can also affect the  surface exchanges of water and energy with the atmosphere. Humans alter land  surface characteristics by carrying out irrigation, removing and introducing  forests, changing vegetative land cover through agriculture, and building  cities and reservoirs. These changes can have significant effects on  local-to-regional climate patterns, which adds up to a small impact on the  global energy balance as well.”

yet earlier highlights that

“…the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past  half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse  gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbons, methane,  and nitrous oxide. The most important of these over the long term is CO2…’

It is clear the Statement was not even probably vetted for internal inconsistencies. If they write

“…the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past  half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse  gases”

and later write

“Humans alter land  surface characteristics by carrying out irrigation, removing and introducing  forests, changing vegetative land cover through agriculture, and building  cities and reservoirs. These changes can have significant effects on  local-to-regional climate patterns’

yet dismissing their importance because they add “up to a small impact on the  global energy balance ….”

they trivialize, as I read the Statement,  their role in climate change.

***********Original Post**********************

The American Meteorological Society has released its Statement

Climate Change – An Information Statement of the American  Meteorological Society

where its stated intent starts with

The following is an AMS Information  Statement intended to provide a trustworthy, objective, and scientifically  up-to-date explanation of scientific issues of concern to the public at large.

Unfortunately, the Statement then goes on to write [highlight added]

It is clear from extensive scientific  evidence that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past  half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse  gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbons, methane,  and nitrous oxide. The most important of these over the long term is CO2,  whose concentration in the atmosphere is rising principally as a result of  fossil-fuel combustion and deforestation.

The new AMS Statement on Climate Change focus on primarily CO2 has already been refuted as documented in the National Research Council Report

National Research Council, 2005: Radiative forcing of climate change: Expanding the concept and addressing uncertainties. Committee on Radiative Forcing Effects on Climate Change, Climate Research Committee, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Division on Earth and Life Studies, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 208 pp.

and summarized in the American Geophysical Union EOS article

Pielke Sr., R., K.  Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. Chahine, R. Dickerson, D.  Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E.  Philip Krider, W. K.M. Lau, J. McDonnell,  W. Rossow,  J. Schaake, J.  Smith, S. Sorooshian,  and E. Wood, 2009: Climate change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases.   Eos, Vol. 90, No. 45, 10 November 2009, 413. Copyright (2009) American   Geophysical Union.

where specific evidence was presented that clearly shows that the assumption of the dominance of increased atmospheric concentration of CO2 on altering climate is wrong. In the EOS article we documented that the only non-rejected hypothesis (of the three listed) is

Although the natural causes of climate variations and changes are undoubtedly important, the human influences are significant and involve a diverse range of first-order climate forcings, including, but not limited to, the human input of carbon dioxide (CO2). Most, if not all, of these human influences on regional and global climate will continue to be of concern during the coming decades.

We wrote in the article that

In addition to greenhouse gas emissions, other first-order human climate forcings are important to understanding the future behavior of Earth’s climate. These forcings are spatially heterogeneous and include the effect of aerosols on clouds and associated precipitation [e.g., Rosenfeld et al., 2008], the influence of aerosol deposition (e.g., black carbon (soot) [Flanner et al. 2007] and reactive nitrogen [Galloway et al., 2004]), and the role of changes in land use/land cover [e.g., Takata et al., 2009]. Among their effects is their role in altering atmospheric and ocean circulation features away from what they would be in the natural climate system [NRC, 2005]. As with CO2, the lengths of time that they affect the climate are estimated to be on multidecadal time scales and longer.

The American Meteorological Society itself has a 2010 Statement that contradictions their new Statement on Climate Change. That Statement is titled

Inadvertent Weather Modification – An Information Statement of the American Meteorological Society

Inadvertant weather modification is defined in the Statement as

Inadvertent weather modification is the unintended consequence of an act,  either on purpose or accidentally, that results in changes in the  weather.

Inadvertant weather modification is clearly part of “climate change”.

The Statement on Inadvertent Weather Modification starts with the text

This statement highlights the causes and possible effects of  inadvertent weather modification1 at  local and regional scales due to aerosol2 and  gas emissions3 and to changes in land  use.  The known effects can have  unanticipated and often undesirable socioeconomic consequences.  This statement assesses the impacts of  inadvertent weather modification and suggests potential respective actions.

and concludes with

These research efforts on unintended weather modification  should be recognized as addressing parts of the broader question of climate  variability and change, which crosses geopolitical boundaries.  As was the case with acid rain and  stratospheric ozone depletion, national and international frameworks should be  developed for addressing the related environmental and ethical issues for  inadvertent weather modification.

It is clear that in the new AMS Statement on Climate Change they decided to ignore the  Inadvertent Weather Modification Statement by the same society!  We were  precluded from not headlining the Inadvertent Weather Modification Statement as being on climate, but the last paragraph clearly shows it is very much relevant (and broadens quite significantly) what should in the AMS Statement.  I am a Fellow of the AMS, and I am very disappointed that the writers of the Statement on Climate Change did not have the courtesy, nor the perspective, to include what was reported in AMS Statement on Inadvertant Weather Modification.

As a final note on the AMS Statement on Climate Change, they also write

climate models have demonstrated skill in reproducing past climates.

Readers of my weblog should know this is an erroneous claim as documented in the peer-reviewed papers that have been summarized most recently in the post

CMIP5 Climate Model Runs – A Scientifically Flawed Approach

I summarize in the post the requirements to make a claim such as “climate models have demonstrated skill in reproducing past climates“, with the text

The first requirement of the CMIP5 runs, before they should even be spending time and money on projections,  is that they must skillfully (and shown with quantitative analyses) to

  • replicate the statistics of the current climate,

and

  • replicate the changes in climate statistics over this time period.

However, peer-reviewed studies that have quantitatively examined this issue using hindcast runs show large problems even with respect to current model statistics, much less their change over time.

I concluded that post with the text with respect to the evidence from the peer-reviewed papers that

These studies, and I am certain more will follow, show that the multi-decadal climate models are not even skillfully simulating current climate statistics, as are needed by the impacts communities, much less CHANGES in climate statistics.  At some point, this waste of money to make regional climate predictions decades from now is going to be widely recognized.

It is clear that the new AMS Statement Climate Change is more advocacy by the leadership of the Society, than a balanced presentation of this subject.  When evidence contradicts their advocacy role, they conveniently just ignore it.

Judy Curry also has an excellent post titled

AMS Statement on Climate Change

in which I agree with her conclusion where she wrote

“My strong objections to this type of statement by professional societies has  been voiced previously.  This statement is worse than the previous AMS  statement…….In other words, consensus statements get parroted without any actual  intellectual examination.  In this case, what is the point of the AMS statement.  Apparently, to ‘inform the public’  on this controversial issue by appealing to  the ‘authority’ of the society.

These Statements (including the one I participated on) are not voted on by the members of the society, nor are the committee members’ names made public. This, along with the absence of an open on-line debate, make this process a sad commentary on a professional society (the American Meteorological Society) which has otherwise done so much for science.

source of image

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Ye Old Boy’s Club – An Example With Ben Santer and Kevin Trenberth

In 2004, John Christy and I raised questions on the Santer et al paper

Santer, B. et al 2003: Contributions of Anthropogenic and Natural Forcing to Recent Tropopause Height Changes. Science 25 July 2003: 479-483. [DOI:10.1126/science.1084123]

in our Comment

Pielke Sr., R.A., and T.N. Chase, 2004: Technical Comment: “Contributions  of anthropogenic and natural forcing to recent tropopause height changes”.  Science, 303, 1771b.

Ben replied in

Santer, B.D., M.F. Wehner, T.M.L. Wigley, and R. Sausen, 2004: Technical  Comment: “Response to Comment on “Contributions of anthropogenic  and natural forcing to recent tropopause height changes.” Science, 303,  1771c.

Science would not publish a further Comment, but we documented our response in

Pielke Sr., R.A., T.N. Chase, with input from J. Christy, and T. Reale,  2004: Scientific Comment on Pielke and Chase 2004 and Santer et al 2004.

Now, it seems Kevin Trenberth had problems with the Santer et al paper (for different reasons), but instead of sharing with the science community, elected to just show to  a narrow circle of colleagues who are like-minded on the climate issue. This information has just come to light as a result of the newly (August 2012) released e-mails [h/t Fred Singer] reported on at WUWT [click on the image below twice for a clearer version].

It certainly seems that when there is internal disagreement among the Old Boy’s Club, they want to make sure it stays there. As a result, we all lose an important scientific debate on this subject.

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Yet Another Example Of IPCC Advocacy

I was alerted to an e-mail exchange in the newly released communications reported in the posts on WUWT

NOAA releases tranche of FOIA documents – 2 years later

First look: ‘Hit on the head with a hockey stick’ – some selected emails from the recent NOAA FOIA release 2 years later

that can be viewed at

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/ipcc_sausage_factory.pdf

[the colleague who alerted me wants to remain annoymous]

The e-mail of interest in the current post is with respect to FAQ 1.2 in which Susan Hasol made edits.  Susan was heavily involved also in the CCSP 1.1 report; see

Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences. Thomas R. Karl, Susan J. Hassol, Christopher D. Miller, and William L. Murray, editors, 2006. A Report by the Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research, Washington, DC.

which I resigned due to its clear deliberate biased presentation, as I reported on in

Pielke  Sr., Roger A., 2005: Public Comment on CCSP Report “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences“.  88 pp including appendices.

See also her clear political agenda-driven perspective in my posts; e.g. see

Comments On The Physics Today Article “Communicating The Science Of Climate Change” By Richard C. J. Somerville and Susan Joy Hassol

Comments On The Draft CCSP Report “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States”

New CCSP Report Appears “Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate” – Unfortunately, Another Biased Assessment

First CCSP Report Published With Further Evidence That It Is Biased

In the last post above, I reported that, with respect to the CCSP 1.1 report, Susan’s contribution is an

“…..example of the advocacy character of the Report, [in which] one of the Editors, Ms. Susan Hassol, was also the writer of the recent HBO Special “To Hot Not to Handle”. This show clearly has a specific perspective on the climate change issue, and lacks a balanced perspective.  The Executive Producer was Ms. Laurie David.

The synopsis of the show from the HBO web site states,

“Over the past century, consumption of carbon dioxide-emitting fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) has risen to staggering levels, especially in the United States, where five percent of the world’s population is responsible for 25 percent of the world’scarbon dioxide emissions. TOO HOT NOT TO HANDLE offers a wealth of chilling evidence that the greenhouse effect is intensifying and the Earth is warming faster than at any other time in human history.

Among the startling facts revealed are:

Deadly heat waves in the U.S. have increased threefold since 1950 and today kill more people than hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning and blizzards combined.

The average temperature in Alaska has already risen five degrees, causing 99 percent of its glaciers to be melting, retreating and shrinking.

Rising sea levels are eroding our shoreline and may eventually displace large numbers of Americans.

The intensity of catastrophic storms, such as 2005′s devastating hurricanes Katrina and Rita, , has increased dramatically in the last half-century, as hurricanes draw their strength from warm ocean water.

Deadly viruses like West Nile, aided by higher air temperatures, are spreading to new parts of the globe, including the entire continental U.S.

‘My personal hope is that every viewer will be inspired to become part of the solution to reducing our carbon emissions,” says executive producer Laurie David. “As the film shows, everything we need to address this pressing problem already exists, and the time to act is now.’

That one of the Editors of the CCSP Report also wrote the HBO special should be of concern regarding the objectivity of that Report. Ms. Hassol’s role as an advocate is clearly exemplified by her Nature correspondence in 1998 entitled “Clear need to act on global warming”.

Her role as advocate is, of course, appropriate, in other venues outside of the CCSP process. Her position at the Aspen Global Change Institute provides her with a platform to promote her views.

However, to serve as an Editor on the CCSP Report that was just published, with a documented active role in what text was to be included on the issue of ‘Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences”, further compromised the Report.  Since the goal was to provide policymakers with an objective understanding  of this issue in climate science, her involvement with the CCSP Report is yet another example to show that the Report was intended to promote a particular, narrow perspective on the issue of recent surface and tropospheric temperature trends.

Now, with the August 2012 release of more e-mails we see more of Susan’s in-depth involvement with climate assessments at the highest level.

As just one example, in the SOD version of FAQ 1.2 it is written [highlight added]

Scientists have determined that human activities can be agents of climatic change. Human-caused, or anthropogenic, climate change results from factors such as changes in the atmospheric concentration of gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect, or to changes in small particles (aerosols) in the atmosphere, or to changes in land use, for example. As climate changes, whether because of natural or anthropogenic factors, the weather is affected. If the average temperature several decades from now has increased relative to its present value, then some weather phenomena in specific regions may become more frequent and others less frequent than at present. Understanding not only the changes in mean weather conditions but also the changes in extreme weather events has recently become a major focus of climate change research.

In the version listed as “Revised by Susan Hassol in conjunction with Richard Sumerville”, it is changed to

“While many factors continue to influence climate, scientists have determied that human activites have become the dominant force, and are responsible for most of the observed warming over the past 50 years. Human-caused climate change has resulted primarily from changes in the amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, but also from changes in small particles (aerosols) as well as from changes in land use, for example. As climate changes, the proabilities of certain types of weather events are affected. For example, as Earth’s average temperature has increased, some weather phenomena have become more frequent and intense (e.g. heat waves and heavy downpours), while others have become less frequent and intense (e.g. extreme cold events).

The scientific findings in the FAQ have been made much more certain, and less consistent with the scientific literature,  in the version that Susan and Richard Somerville edited.

Now, I find Susan a pleasant person, unlike some in that community. However, her position as an advocate in what should be balanced climate assessments has resulted in a significant contribution to the politicalization of this science issue. This involvement has occurred despite her lack of peer reviewed contribution to climate science research; her listing at google scholar  shows her involvement to be primarily on assessements such that she is not in a position to contribute new insight based on her individual research.

When I was on the CCSP 1.1 committee, we were told she was to provide technical editorial assisstance (i.e. to wordsmith the text to make it more readable but NOT to change the scientific content). This definition of her position has clearly morphed into a much larger role.

Richard Somerville’s role in affecting the text that she revised is not defined, but Richard is already widely recognized as having a biased perspective as I documented in the post

Comments On The Physics Today Article “Communicating The Science Of Climate Change” By Richard C. J. Somerville and Susan Joy Hassol

with respect to the article

Richard C. J. Somerville and Susan Joy Hassol, 2011: Communicating the science of climate change. Physics Today.  October 2011.  ISSN: 0031-9228

where I concluded

This article is a tutorial on advocacy of a perspective on policy that really should not be in a journal such as Physics Today. It is an example of a set of individuals using an article (not an op-ed) in a professional science journal to promote their particular views on policy.

The example from the FAQ that I present in this post, is yet another example of a set of individuals using, in this case, a climate science assesment, to promote their particular views on science and policy

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“Changing The Climate Change Debate” – A Message From A News Article From 2001 That Is Just As Needed in 2012

On February 19 2001, the Fort Collins Coloradoan posted the following article

“Changing the climate change debate”

by Kevin Darst. The article had the subtitle

“CSU researchers want to look at factors other than greenhouse gases”

In over 10 years, unfortunately, the “leadership” that is completing climate assessments, such as for the IPCC reports, has learned little about the behavior of the real climate system.

I have reproduced the entire article below except for the picture of me with the caption

“Taking a different view: Colorado State University atmospheric science professor Roger Pielke wants to see additional factors such as land use included with greenhouse gas emissions in climate change research.

Tom Stohlgren’s quote

“It’s difficult to describe a complex system, and there’s no more complex system than the earth”.

is highlighted in a box.

The article itself reads

If forecasters can’t predict the weather more than five days out, how can scientists predict it a century from now.

That’s what Roger Pielke wants to know.

“The bottom line is that climate is an integrated earth system problem,” said Pielke, the state climatologist and a Colorado State University professor. “You can’t predict it past next season.”

Pielke, who was in San francisco Sunday for the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting, is concerned too much stock is put in long-term predictions based solely on increased carbon dioxide levels.  Those assessments from the Intergovernmental Panel on the Climate Convention and the United States National Assessment, predict sharp rises in temperature by 2100.

But land-use trends should also be figured in the model, Pielke said. A U.S. Geological Survey study Pielke contributed to suggested irrigation along the Front Range prompted cooler, wetter summers for Rocky Mountain National Park by putting  more water vapor in the air.

“You can’t explain weather or climate by one factor,” Pielke said. Weather prediction is very difficult. Seasonal predictions are more difficult. It should be no surprise that predicting 50 years from now is hard.”

Still, people eat up such predictions without examining the shortfalls, said Tom Stohlgren, an ecologist for the U.S. Geological Survey and a CSU professor.

“All the caveats get left out”,  Stohlgren said. “as a public, we’re satisfied with a quick and easy answer.

“It’s difficult to describe a complex system, and there’s no more complex system than the earth.”

Climate predictions, however, shouldn’t be considered as absolute truth, said Dennis Ojima, the senior scientist at CSU’s Natural Ecology Laboratory.

“They’re looking more or less at the physical interactions of the climate system and the various scenarios….involved with greenhouse gas warming,” said Ojima who also serves as the Great Plains coordinator for the National Climate Change Assessment.  “It’s part of the tool kit.”

Instead of focusing on predictions, scientists should focus on a region’s vulnerabilities, Stohlgren and Pielke said.  For Colorado, that means the chance of epic droughts. It can also mean positives such a longer growing seasons for farmers and less crop damage from frost.

Ojima agreed.

Doing a little bit of both is prudent,” he said of predictions and vulnerability studies.

In the meantime, the uncertainty of man’s impact on the earth worries Stohlgren.

“We’re putting a lot of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere,” Stohlgren said. “We’re not sure what the long term effects are.”

But as technology advances, all three are confident those advances could help scientists better understand the intricate relationships between climate factors.

This article could be just rereported in 2012.

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