Category Archives: Advocacy Masking As Science

Comments On The New National Climate Service

The federal government of the United States has announced the establishment of a National Climate Service; e.g. see the NY Times article by Lauren Morello titled Agency Will Create National Climate Service to Spur Adaptation.

The article includes the text

“The Obama administration announced plans yesterday to create a new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Service…..

Lubchenco [NOAA Administrator] said her agency already receives millions of requests each year for the type of information the proposed climate service would provide, “and we fully expect requests for information to grow explosively.”

“There is no question about the critical need for this service,” she said. “Climate change is real. It’s happening now in our own backyards and around the globe, and it’s beginning to touch nearly every aspect of our lives.”

The NOAA chief said climate change is already raising sea levels, lengthening growing seasons, prompting earlier spring snowmelts and shifts in river flows, causing more intense drought and increasing the incidence of extreme weather….

NCDC head Thomas Karl will serve as the climate service’s transitional director. NOAA also plans to create new positions for six regional climate service directors.”

The statements by Jane Lubchenco and the appointment of Tom Karl as the transitional director, assures that policymakers will continue to receive an inappropriately narrow view of our actual knowledge with respect to climate science. I have documented the biases of Tom Karl in a number of reports and weblog posts; e.g. see

Comment On Tom Karl’s Interview In The Washington Post

Erroneous Climate Science Statement By Tom Karl, Director Of The National Climate Data Center And President Of The American Meteorological Society

E-mail Documentation Of The Successful Attempt By Thomas Karl Director Of the U.S. National Climate Data Center To Suppress Biases and Uncertainties In the Assessment Surface Temperature Trends

The NOAA Administrator, in making the appointment of Tom Karl, has apparently not learned that the climate science community has a broader view of the issues and less confidence in the skill of the multi-decadal global and regional climate predictions than she does.  By selecting Tom Karl, she has assured that this narrow viewpoint will be perpetuated within the new National Climate Service.

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Further Comment On The Dot Earth Post On “Climate Data, Trends and Peer Review”

Yesterday I posted a blog titled

A Myth About The Surface Temperature Record Analyses Perpetuated On Dot Earth By Andy Revkin.

To his credit, despite my criticism, Andy presented a rebuttal by Michael Schlesinger on his website. I have reposted Michael’s response below in its entirety, and then I follow with my comment.


Roger Pielke, Sr., of Colorado State strongly criticized Michael Schlesinger’s assessment of the temperature data —… and Dr. Schlesinger sent this reply:

I have been expecting this comment, not from anyone in particular, but from someone – and here it is. Of course we have only one raw dataset comprised of all the world’s surface temperature measurements.

How could it be otherwise?

The different groups that have analyzed this single raw dataset have made different decisions in their analyses. For example, whether the station data should be averaged as is, or whether they should first be area-weighted for the region of their coverage.

It is because of the differences in analysis methods that the results of the 4 groups are not identical.

That is healthy.

So, one set of raw temperature data, of needs be, and several different decisions about how to analyze these raw data, all lead to the same conclusion – the Earth’s near-surface temperature has warmed by about 0.9°C (1.6°F) during the past 150 years.

The case of detecting climate change is closed, period, RPS or any other climate skeptic notwithstanding.

The next task is to attribute these detected changes in near-surface temperature to their causes, natural or not – us (and U.S.).

This can be done only with a climate model, either the simple one that I and Natasha Andronova applied in our year-2000 paper, referenced in my cotribution to Andy Revkin’s blog today, or with climate science’s most comprehensive climate models, our coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation models.

As documented in the IPCC AR4, it is not possible to replicate the observed warming due to natural causes – the sun and volcanoes – alone. Such replication can be done only by including the effects of the human-generated increase in the concentrations of greenhouse gases.

Thus the case of the causes of the observed climate change is closed, period – RPS or any other climate skeptic notwithstanding.

What remains is to decide what to do about this, bury our collective heads in the sand and pretend that reality is otherwise, or take on the hard task before us of making the transition this century from the fossil-fuel age to the post fossil-fuel age.

As I am an engineer as well as a scientist, I challenge humanity to this great and singular task.

I will not be here much longer, so I can at most see only the beginning of this voyage.

But my 3 children and 6 grandchildren will be here to see whether or not we now behave in a responsible way to them and their progeny, and to our one-and-only planet.

To not do so would be to condemn billions of human beings, now and in the future, to death by climate.




First,  I am pleased that Michael Schlesinger has confirmed what I have reported; in that

“…we have only one raw dataset comprised of all the world’s surface temperature measurements.”

However, what this means is that the  0.9°C increase in the global average surface temperature during the last 150 years is guaranteed to be closely replicated by each of the research centers that are analyzing the data.  This close agreement was reported on in the CCSP 1.1 report as I reproduced in my post  

An Erroneous Statement Made By Phil Jones To The Media On The Independence Of The Global Surface Temperature Trend Analyses Of CRU, GISS And NCDC

An excerpt from the CCSP 1.1. report, as I reproduced in my post,  reads

“While there are fundamental differences in the methodology used to create the surface data sets, the differing techniques with the same data produce almost the same results (Vose et al., 2005a).”

Michael introduces another broader issue, however, in his  statement

“The case of detecting climate change is closed, period, RPS or any other climate skeptic notwithstanding.”

This statement is a further example of the narrow and closed viewpoint illustrated in the released CRU e-mails. I agree with Michael that we have detected human climate forcing effects. To label me as a skeptic, however,  is completely wrong (as Andy knows; e.g. see and see)

More importantly, I am disappointed in his failure to discuss the fundamental scientific issue that remains which is which of the two hypotheses below are correct:

  • Hypothesis 2a: 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. 

  • Hypothesis 2b: Although the natural causes of climate variations and changes are undoubtedly important, the human influences are significant and are dominated by the emissions into the atmosphere of greenhouse gases, the most important of which is CO2. The adverse impact of these gases on regional and global climate constitutes the primary climate issue for the coming decades.

     Hypothesis 2b was rejected in our joint 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. An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright (2009) American Geophysical Union

     Michael Schlesinger clearly accepts Hypothesis 2b.  I invite him to discuss why he rejects Hypothesis 2a, since only one of these hypotheses can be correct.


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    Filed under Advocacy Masking As Science, Climate Change Forcings & Feedbacks, Debate Questions

    Comment On The Hacking Of The CRU Website

    As I am sure, the readers of my weblog are aware of the hacking of the CRU website (e.g. see Real Climate, The BlackboardRoger Pielke Jr.’s Blog, The Examiner and Watts Up With That to name just a few sites). Since I am mentioned a number of times in the released e-mails, I will comment as appropriate on my specific reactions to these-mails. Today, I will address one of the issues raised by Real Climate.

    On Real Climate today (under the header CRU Hack), there is a comment by “KTB” and reply by Gavin Schmidt that reads

    KTB says:

    It would be nice to get comments from the authors for lines like this. This can of course be understood in many ways…
    I hope that posting of this small snippet doesn’t violate copyright, and I left the name out:

    “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Xxx and I will keep
    them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is”

    [Response: Bad papers clutter up assessment reports and if they don’t stand up as science, they shouldn’t be included. No-one can ‘redefine’ what the peer-reviewed literature is. – gavin]

    The reply by Gavin Schmidt illustrates the gatekeeper aspect of the IPCC report which I documented in detail in my appendix to

    Pielke Sr., Roger A., 2008: A Broader View of the Role of Humans in the Climate System is Required In the Assessment of Costs and Benefits of Effective Climate Policy. Written Testimony for the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality of the Committee on Energy and Commerce Hearing “Climate Change: Costs of Inaction” – Honorable Rick Boucher, Chairman. June 26, 2008, Washington, DC., 52 pp

    and in

    Documentation Of IPCC WG1 Bias by Roger A. Pielke Sr. and Dallas Staley – Part I

    Documentation Of IPCC WG1 Bias by Roger A. Pielke Sr. and Dallas Staley – Part II

    The challenge to the IPCC community, now that their duplicity has been exposed, is to communicate to all of us why the peer-reviewed papers that we documented, and that were available in time for the IPCC review process, were considered “bad papers” and thus ignored in the IPCC report.  A balanced assessment would comment on these papers, and provide the reason they disagree with their results.

    The reply by Gavin Schmidt documents the control of the IPCC process by a few individuals (see also Climate Assessment Oligarchy – The IPCC).

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    More Advocacy And Lobbying By Tom Karl – Director Of The National Climate Data Center

    I have been very critical of Tom Karl, Director of the National Climate Data Center and currently President of the American Meteorological Society,  in his failure to provide a balanced assessment of climate issues despite his leadership roles in climate analyses (e. g. see and see).   He (sincerely I believe) assumes he is representing the science without any lack of bias, but the reality is quite different.  As I documented, for instance,  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

    he is judging the merits of the same research results in which he supervises and has published on.  There cannot be a clearer conflict of interest.

    There is now another new example of his misuse of his leadership position. I have reproduced below (and thanks to Joe D’Aleo for sharing it with us) a media presentation that he is leading.  He certainly can chose to be an advocate and lobbyist for a particular perspective on climate, but for him to fail to communicate this bias, as well as prevent the presentation of other viewpoints, should be widely recognized.

    AMS Communication

    From: Kelly G. Savoie
    Sent: Friday, October 02, 2009 9:06 AM
    Subject: AMS Item of Interest
    Dear CBM/Sealholder:

    Following is an item you may find of interest.

        * Extreme Weather and Global Warming in the Southwest U.S.

    Media Advisory

    Climate Science Briefing for Broadcast Meteorologists:
    Extreme Weather and Global Warming in the Southwest U.S.
    A teleconference for Southwestern broadcast meteorologists featuring authors of the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s latest scientific assessment report, “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States,” will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2009. The report, which identifies the consensus climate science conducted by academic researchers, U.S. agencies, and international bodies, is the first of its kind to detail the impacts of global warming on extreme weather by region in the United States.
    The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Thomas Karl, president of the American Meteorological Society and co-chair of “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States.” Speakers will focus on the latest authoritative research about how climate change is affecting weather extremes in the Southwestern U.S. — heat waves, wildfires, drought and other water issues — and in turn the impacts on human health and quality of life.
    When: Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2009, 1 p.m. PDT/2 p.m. MDT
    Teleconference number: 1-800-290-9461, Passcode 23821
    Dr. Thomas Karl, Director of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center and President of AMS
    Dr. Bradley Udall, director of the Western Water Assessment, a joint effort of the University of Colorado and NOAA
    Mike Nelson, Chief Meteorologist at KMGH-TV, Denver; author of “The Colorado Weather Almanac”

    For more information please visit the GCRP’s web site,
    Supplemental materials to the call and a web-based guide to government reports for broadcast meteorologists are available at This site includes links to full scientific reports and regional fact sheet summaries, as well as information about this teleconference and past science briefings. Funding for the briefing and web site is provided by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Mertz Gilmore Foundation. The teleconference and web site are a service of Resource Media, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization.
    Please note: for meteorologists unable to call in to the teleconference, a recording and transcript will be posted at  shortly after the call.

    Follow weather and climate issues on Twitter at or on Facebook through the “Global Warming Climate Change Report” Group.

    Kim Curtis, Resource Media, 415-397-5000 ext. 305
    Jillian Ward, Resource Media, 415-397-5000 ext. 309; 415-609-8500

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