The CCSP Report “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences” by Thomas R. Karl, Susan J. Hassol, Christopher D. Miller, and William L. Murray, editors was published May 2 2006. This is a report by the Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research, Washington, DC.
As discussed several times on the Climate Science weblog and in my Public Comment, this Report is not a balanced presentation of the issue of recent surface and tropospheric temperature trends. The weblogs on this Report which report on its obvious conflict of interest include;
My Public Comment is available from
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.
As another example of the advocacy character of the Report, 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.’ ”
The advocacy that is obvious in this HBO show is that these problems are due to the increased radiative forcing of added anthropogenic CO2. As readers of this weblog know, the climate system, including the human influence, is much more complex than presented on the HBO show.
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.