Category Archives: Climate Science Meetings

Update On The 2011 SORCE Meeting – Decadal Cycles In The Sun, Sun-like Stars, And Earth’s Climate System Sept. 13-16, 2011 Sedona, Arizona

I am pleased to announce that there will be somewhat more balance in the 2011 SORCE Meeting – Decadal Cycles in the Sun, Sun-like Stars, and Earth’s Climate System on Sept. 13-16, 2011 in Sedona, Arizona

 that I posted about on June 6 2011. I wrote in that post

From my view, the invited attendees are not going to provide a balanced perspective of the issues in climate science. For example, why was not David Douglass, Graeme Stephens, Roy Spencer,  Anastasios Tsonis and Sergev Kravtsov, or Dick Lindzen included in the Climate Sensitivity and Global Energy Imbalance session? They have a different perspective and conclusions than will be represented by the invitees listed in Session [4]. This would have been an excellent opportunity for a constructive debate among the attendees.”

One of the scientists that I recommended has now been invited – David Douglass is now on the agenda as shown below. 

The June/July 2011 SORCE Newsletter has the agenda for the session on  Climate Sensitivity and Global Imbalance on Thursday, Sept. 15

Session 4 – Climate Sensitivity and Global Imbalance

Gerald North, Texas A&M University Climate Sensitivity

Brian Soden, Rosenstiel School, Univ. of Miami, FL Understanding Climate Feedbacks Using Radiative Kernels

Andrew Dessler, Texas A&M University Observational Constraints on the Water Vapor and Cloud Feedbacks

Kevin E. Trenberth, NCAR, Boulder, Colorado Tracking Earth’s Energy: From El Niño to Global Warming

David Douglass, University of Rochester, New York Recent Energy Balance of the Earth – Update

Seiji Kato, NASA Langley Research Center Interannual Variability of Top-of-Atmosphere Albedo Observed by CERES Instruments

Sebastian Schmidt, LASP, University of Colorado-Boulder The Spectral Radiative Effects of Inhomogeneous Clouds and Aerosols

Still not a well balanced session, but certainly better than it was.

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Invitation To Submit An Abstract To “Impact of Land Use/Cover and Aerosol Changes on Mountain Weather and Climate” At The Fall AGU meeting (December 5-9, 2011

Please consider submitting an abstract to the session GC53 entitled

 “Impact of Land Use/Cover and Aerosol Changes on Mountain Weather and Climate” at the Fall AGU meeting (December 5-9, 2011) in San Francisco. 

For abstract submissions (Deadline: 4th August 2011), please visit: http://sites.agu.org/fallmeeting/

This session will feature invited presentations by Roni Avissar (University of Miami), Bill Cotton (Colorado State University) and William Lau (NASA).  A brief description of the session is as follows: GC53: Impact of Land Use/Cover and Aerosol Changes on Mountain Weather and Climate Sponsor: Global Environmental Change (GC)

Co-Sponsor(s): Atmospheric Sciences (A), Biogeosciences (B), Hydrology (H) Convener(s): Udaysankar Nair, University of Alabama in Huntsville; Dev Niyogi, Purdue University; Thomas Mölg, University of Innsbruck

Description: Mountain weather is often a major contributor to regional hydrology and hydroclimatic changes. While the changes in mountain climate are good indicators of the global climate trends, for accurate attribution regional forcing due to land use/cover change (LULC) and atmospheric aerosols also need to be assessed, which is complex and depends on both geography and the nature of the terrain. A number of field and simulation experiments are currently under way to understand these forcings. This session invites papers on a range of studies – process scale, impact assessments, synthesis, related to the LULC and atmospheric aerosols on terrain generated circulation, orographic cloud and precipitation formation.

Thank you

Udaysankar Nair (nair@nsstc.uah.edu)

Dev Niyogi (dniyogi@purdue.edu )

Thomas Mölg (thomas.moelg@uibk.ac.at)

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Confessions of Members Of The Climate Science Community

While it does not explicitly say so, an article in the May 2011 of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society has redefined the dominate climate issue. The authors might not admit that they have altered from the IPCC focus on global average surface temperature trends as the icon of climate change, but the reality of this change is obvious from their text.  In the 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.

 it is written

“…..the traditional global mean TOA radiative forcing concept has some important limitations, which have come increasingly to light over the past decade. The concept is inadequate for some forcing agents, such as absorbing aerosols and land-use changes, that may have regional climate impacts much greater than would be predicted from TOA radiative forcing. Also, it diagnoses only one measure of climate change—global mean surface temperature response—while offering little information on regional climate change or precipitation. These limitations can be addressed by expanding the radiative forcing concept and through the introduction of additional forcing metrics. In particular, the concept needs to be extended to account for (1) the vertical structure of radiative forcing, (2) regional variability in radiative forcing, and (3) nonradiative forcing.”

Joe D’Aleo, Joe Bastardi, Judy Curry, Roy Spencer, Peter Webster and others who have been out front on this issue also need to be recognized for documenting a much more significant role of natural climate variability on seasonal, yearly, decadal and longer time scales.

The new article, which exemplifies where the broader climate community is finally starting to accept this more robust perspective on climate,  is

Mehta, Vikram, and Coauthors, 2011: Decadal Climate Predictability and Prediction: Where Are We?. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 92, 637–640.doi: 10.1175/2010BAMS3025.1

Extracts from the paper read [highlight added]

The importance of decadal climate variability (DCV) research is being increasingly recognized, including by the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). An improved understanding of DCV is very important because stakeholders and policymakers want to know the likely climate trajectory for the coming decades for applications to water resources, agriculture, energy, and infrastructure development. Responding to this demand, many climate modeling groups in the United States, Europe, Japan, and elsewhere are gearing up to assess the potential for decadal climate predictions. The magnitudes of regional DCV often exceed those associated with the trends resulting from anthropogenic changes.”

“PREDICTABILITY AND PREDICTION. Initial decadal prediction efforts in the last few years show predictive skill of global average temperature up to a decade in advance using both initial conditions and the climate change signal created by already emitted greenhouse gases.”

This claim of decade surface temperature prediction skill, of course, is not supported by their lack of skill since 1998. The next section of their paper highlights the wide range of uncertainties for decadal prediction and the movement away from the global average surface temperature as the icon of climate change. For multi-decadal climate predictions, these uncertainties are necessarily even higher.

“THEORY AND MODELING. Although global coupled models designed in the last 15 years are able to generate DCV patterns that resemble observed DCV patterns, the models tend to displace them spatially and temporally with respect to observed patterns. Also, it has not been obvious that the same mechanisms operate in both models and nature to produce similar DCV patterns. A much better understanding of the physical mechanisms of DCV in nature is required. Without this, the sources and skills used to make decadal predictions will remain unreliable.”

“Among the known, major problems in global coupled models are large systematic biases; the absence of eddies and nonlinear interactions in ocean components; incorrect/inaccurate representation of planetary wave dynamics, interactions with eddies, 3D basin modes, and forced responses of basin modes; air–sea interaction; representation of vertical mixing in the upper ocean; and subpolar ocean dynamics, including the relative importance of temperature,salinity, wind-driven and thermohaline circulations, weak vertical stratification, and interactions with sea ice. The atmospheric components of the global coupled models are also not complete; the most important required additions are a well-resolved stratosphere that includes its chemical makeup, the representation of ice in the water cycle, and a better parameterization of convection, cloud physics, and tropospheric chemistry. Because resolution appears to be one of the model attributes influencing DCV time scales, model resolution is another aspect that needs major improvement. Major biases, however, are not removed simply by increasing resolution; persistent problems such as poor representations of the Indian summer monsoon rainfall still remain even in high resolution models.”

The confessions that are listed in this article are an implicit admission of the bankruptcy of the approach on climate assessments such as the 2007 IPCC WG1 report with its assumption that the multi-decadal climate model predictions are skillful.

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April/May 2011 Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment [SORCE] Newsletter Available

The April/May 2011 Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) Monthly Newsletter is available. Among the informative information in the newsletter is the announcement of the meeting

2011 SORCE Meeting – Decadal Cycles in the Sun, Sun-like Stars, and Earth’s Climate System – Sept. 13-16, 2011 Sedona, Arizona

with the session and speakers

Session 1 – Solar Irradiance Cycles

Matt DeLand, SSAI, Maryland Solar Cycle UV Irradiance Variability
Thierry Dudok de Wit, CNRS & Univ. of Orléans, France New Methods of Modeling the Solar Cycle Variations
Greg Kopp, LASP, Univ. of Colorado Status and Record of TSI Measurements
Judith Lean, NRL, Washington, DC Implications of Measurement Stability from Comparisons to Solar Regression Models
Peter Pilewskie, LASP, Univ. of Colorado SSI and Climate
Erik Richard, LASP, Univ. of Colorado Future SSI Record for JPSS TSIS
Werner Schmutz, PMOD/WRC, Davos, Switzerland PREMOS TSI Results
Yvonne Unruh, Imperial College, London Modeling SSI
Richard Willson, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Recent ACRIM Calibrations

Session 2 – Comparative Sun-Star Cycles

Tom Ayres, CASA, Univ. of Colorado What about the other Suns?
Ben Brown, University of Wisconsin-Madison Modeling Sun-like Stars
Wes Lockwood, Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Arizona Solar Variability after Dark: Photometric Evidence from Stars and Planets
Travis Metcalfe, NCAR, Boulder, Colorado Monitoring CA II H and K for Southern Solar-type Stars
Richard Radick, Air Force Res. Lab., NSO, Sunspot, NM Sun-like Stars Cycle Variations

Session 3 – Climate Sensitivity and Global Energy Imbalance

Andrew Dessler, Texas A&M University Observational Constraints on the Water Vapor and Cloud Feedbacks
Seiji Kato, NASA Langley Research Center Constancy/Stability of Earth’s Albedo
Gerald North, Texas A&M University Climate Sensitivity
Brian Soden, Rosenstiel School, Univ. of Miami, FL Climate Feedbacks
Kevin E. Trenberth, NCAR, Boulder, Colorado Tracking Earth’s Energy: From El Niño to Global Warming

Session 4 – Climate System Decadal Variability

Pat Hamill, San Jose State Univ., California Stratospheric Aerosols
Karin Labitzke, Prof.em. Freie Universität Berlin On the QBO-Solar Relationship Throughout the Year
Vikram Mehta, CRCES, Maryland Sun-Climate Variability
Mark Serreze, National Snow & Ice Data Center, CIRES, Univ. of Colorado Ice and Snow
Bill Swartz, John Hopkins University, APL Decadal Variability in the Atmosphere

Session 5 – Modeling and Forecasting Solar Cycles and Climate Impacts

Robert Cahalan, NASA GSFC Modeling Climate Change with SSI Variations
Judith Lean, NRL, Washington, DC Forecasting Solar Irradiance and Climate Change
Kyle Swanson, Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Climate Regime Shifts
Tom Woods, LASP, Univ. of Colorado State of Sun – SC 24

From my view, the invited attendees are not going to provide a balanced perspective of the issues in climate science. For example, why was not David Douglass, Graeme Stephens, Roy Spencer, Anastasios Tsonis and Sergev Kravtsov, or Dick Lindzen included in the Climate Sensitivity and Global Energy Imbalance session? They have a different perspective and conclusions than will be represented by the invitees listed in Session 3. This would have been an excellent opportunity for a constructive debate among the attendees.

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Oral Presentation On March 8 2011 At The House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee Hearing Climate Science and EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Regulation

Yesterday, I participated in the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee Hearing

 “Climate Science and EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Regulation

I have reproduced my oral presentation below. My talk  at the Hearing (and of the other speakers including House members) as well as the Q&A will also be available online (I will provide the link to the session when available – Update: here it is).  

There is an informative set of sites that did live-blogging of the Hearing and twitttering (each site has archived the posts);

Live-blogging the climate science hearings

Live Blogging Climate Science and EPA Regulations Hearing

UCSUSA

My oral presentation at the Hearing, unfortunately, was poor. I violated a rule that I tell my students by trying to cram too much into the rigid 5 minute limit that is provided.

In any case, the issues I raise are presented in my oral and written testimonies (the later will be posted on our research site in the next day or so, and I will post on that more detailed write-up then).

Tomorrow I will post on the process which, unfortunately, was not at all effective in discussing areas of disagreement in climate science.  It is a missed opportunity to debate the scientific issues in the front of important policymakers. I will make a recommendation tomorrow for a different format.

Oral Presentation -Roger A. Pielke Sr. University of Colorado at Boulder and Colorado State University

“I have worked throughout my career to improve environmental conditions, including air quality, by conducting research, teaching and also by providing scientifically rigorous information to policy makers.  At the state level, I served two terms on the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission where we developed the oxygenated fuels program to reduce atmospheric CO emissions from vehicles, promulgated regulations to mandate strict controls on wood and coal burning in residential fireplaces and stoves, and on asbestos concentrations in the air.  

In my testimony today (and in more detail in my written testimony) I have four main points: 

1.      Research has shown that a focus on just carbon dioxide and a few other greenhouse gases as the dominant human influence on climate is too narrow, and misses other important human influences.

2.     The phrases “global warming” and “climate change” are not the same. Global warming is a subset of  climate change.

 3.     The prediction (or projection) of regional weather, including extremes, decades into the future is far more difficult than commonly assumed.  As well, the attribution of extreme events to a particular subset of climate forcings is scientifically incomplete, if the research ignores other relevant human and natural causes of extreme weather events. 

 4.     The climate science assessments of the IPCC and CCSP, as well as the various statements issued by the AGU, AMS and NRC, are completed by a small subset of climate scientists who are often the same individuals in each case.  

 Indeed, the production of multi-decadal climate predictions of regional impacts, whose skill cannot be verified until decades from now, is not a robust scientific approach.  Models themselves are hypotheses. The steps of hypothesis written with respect to climate predictions as

 1.      Make a Prediction

2.     Quantitatively Compare the Prediction With Real World Observations [i.e. Test the Hypothesis]

3.     Communicate The Assessment the Skill of the Prediction

There is no way to test hypotheses with the multi-decadal global climate model forecasts for decades from now as step 2, as a verification of the skill of these forecasts, is not possible until the decades pass.

 There has also been a misunderstanding of the relationship between global warming and climate variability and longer term change.

 Global Warming is typically defined as an increase in the global average surface temperature.  A better metric is the global annual average heat content measured in Joules. Global warming involves the accumulation of heat in Joules within the components of the climate system.  This accumulation is dominated by the heating and cooling within the upper layers of the oceans.

 Climate Change is any multi-decadal or longer alteration in one or more physical, chemical and/or biological components of the climate system. Climate change includes, for example, changes in fauna and flora, snow cover, etc which persists for decades and longer. Climate variability can then be defined as changes which occur on shorter time periods.

 With respect to climate change, in 2009 18 Fellows of the American Geophysical Union accepted an invitation to join me in a paper where we discussed three different mutually exclusive hypotheses with respect to the climate system:

 Hypothesis 1: Human influence on climate variability and change is of minimal importance, and natural causes dominate climate variations and changes on all time scales. In coming decades, the human influence will continue to be minimal.

 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 is the IPCC perspective. In our EOS paper, we concluded that only Hypothesis 2a has not been refuted. Hypotheses 1 and 2b are inaccurate characterizations of the climate system.

 In our 2009 paper we wrote

 “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.”

 We concluded that

 “Therefore, the cost- benefit analyses regarding the mitigation of CO2 and other greenhouse gases need to be considered along with the other human climate  forcings in a broader environmental context, as well as with respect to their role in the climate system”

 and

 “The evidence predominantly suggests that humans are significantly altering the global environment, and thus climate, in a variety of diverse ways beyond the effects of human emissions of greenhouse gases, including CO2. Unfortunately, the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment did not sufficiently acknowledge the importance of these other human climate forcings in altering regional and global climate and their effects on predictability at the regional scale.”

 A major conclusion indicated from these studies is that regional atmospheric and ocean circulation features produce extreme weather events, not a global annual average surface temperature anomaly. It is the multi-decadal change in the statistics of these circulation features, in response to natural and human forcings and feedbacks, which must be skillfully predicted.  This level of predictive skill has not yet been achieved even in hindcasts of past decades.

Policymakers and the public rarely encounter this broader view of the climate system, in part due to the limited number of scientists who are leading climate assessments. As just one example, I present my experiences with the first CCSP report.  My experience is documented in a public comment. In the executive summary of that report, I wrote

 “The process for completing the CCSP Report excluded valid scientific perspectives under the charge of the Committee. The Editor of the Report systematically excluded a range of views on the issue of understanding and reconciling lower atmospheric temperature trends.

 Future assessment Committees need to appoint members with a diversity of views and who do not have a significant conflict of interest with respect to their own work. Such Committees should be chaired by individuals committed to the presentation of a diversity of perspectives and unwilling to engage in strong-arm tactics to enforce a narrow perspective. Any such committee should be charged with summarizing all relevant literature, even if inconvenient, or which presents a view not held by certain members of the Committee.”

 Finally, I have proposed a new approach in the climate community based on a bottom-up, resource-based perspective. There are five broad areas that we can use to define the need for this type of  vulnerability assessment: water, food, energy, human health and ecosystem function. Each sector is critical to societal well-being. The vulnerability concept requires the determination of the major threats to these resources from extreme events including climate, but also from other social and environmental pressures. After these threats are identified for each resource, relative risks can be compared in order to shape the preferred mitigation/adaptation strategy.”

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International Workshop on Downscaling 2011 – Powerpoint Presentations

The powerpoint presentations of the January 18-20 2011 Tsukuba, Japan International Workshop on Downscaling 2011 are now available.  The Workshop Chair was Izuru Takayabu.

The Workshop goals are summarized on their website as

Based on the discussions during the first workshop held in January 25-27, 2010, we will talk over the common important problems we are facing.  In addition to the relevant progress made during the past year, we would like to highlight the following:

(1)  Usability of the downscaled product:  In the last year’s workshop, we found that there was a large gap between the capability of models and user’s requirement.  We will discuss how to fill the gaps, particularly in connection with statistical down-scaling.

(2)  Predictability of RCM:  How to meet the Dr. R. Pielke’s criticism on value added by regional model.  Dr. Kimura and several others showed an example of the added value by RCM, last year.  We would like to further deepen the discussions in relation to the fundamental problem addressed by Dr. Kanamitsu.

(3)  Suggestions on the future of downscaling research:  Summarizing the discussions in (1) and (2), we intend to come up with a list of fundamental and essential unresolved problems in downscaling.  We will try to define the breakthrough points that determine the future of the downscaling research.

My views on downscaling, in addition to the powerpoint talk presented at the Workshop were summarized in my posts

Summary Of Why Dynamic And Statistical Downscaling Of Multi-Decadal IPCC-type Forecasts Are Misleading The Impacts Community And Policymakers

The Difference Between Prediction and Predictability – Recommendations For Research Funding Related to These Distinctly Different Concepts

Statistical Downscaling From Multi-Decadal Global Model Projections Does Not Add Spatial and Temporal Accuracy Of Value To The Impacts Community

Dynamic Downscaling From Multi-Decadal Global Model Projections Does Not Add Spatial and Temporal Accuracy Of Value To The Impacts Community

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Comment On The NCAR June 6 -24 2011 Colloquium Titled “Statistical Assessment of Extreme Weather Phenomena under Climate Change”

In my post yesterday

Summary Of Why Dynamic And Statistical Downscaling Of Multi-Decadal IPCC-type Forecasts Are Misleading The Impacts Community And Policymakers

I concluded

“….neither dynamic downscaling or statistical downscaling from multi-decadal global model projections add spatial or temporal accuracy of value to the impacts community. The global and regional climate models are providing a level of confidence in forecast skill of the coming decades that does not exist. “

An example of misleading the science community with respect to these predictions includes  the NCAR Advanced Study Program Summer Colloquium titled

Statistical Assessment of Extreme Weather Phenomena under Climate Change

which is scheduled for June 6 -24 2011.  This Colloquium has the stated objective of

“Training in use of extreme value analysis to assess how frequency, duration, and intensity of extreme weather events could shift as part of global climate change. “

The topics include

“Extracting extreme events from coarse resolution models that cannot explicitly resolve extremes using techniques such as statistical downscaling”

Students who attend this Colloquium are going to be misled as to what is achievable with statistical downscaling from global climate model multidecadal predictions.  Taxpayer funds are being used to support travel and local expenses for about 25 student participants.

I would, of course, be glad to present and debate with the organizers of the Colloquium [Eric Gilleland, Greg Holland, Rick Katz (NCAR), Arun Kumar (NOAA), Mike Patterson (US CLIVAR), Balaji Rajagopalan (CU Boulder)] my alternate view on the value of downscaling.

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Climate Meeting On Biospheric Feedbacks In The Climate System

The recognition that the climate system involves much more than just the radiative effect of CO2 and a few other greenhouse gases is becoming better recognized. A call for papers in an upcoming meeting of the EGU highlights this broadening.  The call for papers reads

Date: Mon, 13 Dec 2010 21:32:01 +0100
From: Victor Brovkin <xxxxxx>
Subject: [ginkgo] EGU 2011 session on biospheric feedbacks

Dear colleagues,

We would like to invite you to participate in a special session on

*Biosphere-Atmosphere interactions: feedbacks in the global Earth system in the past, present, and future* (co sponsored by iLEAPS) (Session CL1.25) at the EGU General Assembly in Vienna, 3 – 8 April 2011.

Convener: Claussen, M.  Co-Convener: Brovkin, V.

Contributions are welcome in the field of:

a) Global scale vegetation dynamics and feedback with climate system
dynamics

b) Interaction between vegetation feedbacks on a local scale and global
scale feedbacks

c) Global and continental scale anthropogenic land cover change, past,
present, future

d) Lifespan of the biosphere, astrobiology

e) Concepts and simplified models of climate-ecosystem feedbacks

f) Comprehensive dynamic global ecosystem models

h) Global data sets for feedbacks assessment

*The deadline for submitting abstracts is 10 JANUARY 2011.*

Details about the conference and submission of abstracts can be found at: http://meetings.copernicus.org/egu2011/

Please distribute this email to interested scientists.

We are looking forward to receiving your abstract.

With best regards,

Victor Brovkin and Martin Claussen

————————————————–+
Dr. Victor Brovkin                               +
Research Group Climate-Biogeosphere Interactions +
Max Planck Institute for Meteorology             +

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A Western Governer’s Association Meeting – “Drought, Water, and Climate: Using Today’s Information To Design Tomorrow’s Services”

I have been alerted to a meeting on climate in mid-September.  It is

Drought, Water, and Climate: Using today’s information to design tomorrow’s services. Washington DC September 14‐15, 2010 [registration is at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2VCLY2M]

The meeting is sponsored by the Western Governor’s Association with several Governer’s giving presentations.

The information on the meeting is listed below.  An examination of the Agenda shows that while a number of interesting talks will be presented by excellent climate scientists, it does not appear that a bottom-up resource-based perspective is being adopted by this community as recommended in

A Way Forward In Climate Science Based On A Bottom-Up Resourse-Based Perspective

With respect to water resources, the following are the questions they should be focusing on

 
1. What are the key environmental and social variables that influence water resources?
 
3.  What is the sensitivity of water resources to changes in each of these key variables? (this includes, but is not limited to, the sensitivity of water resources to climate variations and change on short (e.g. days); medium (e.g. seasons) and long (e.g. multi-decadal) time scales.
 
4. What changes (thresholds) in these key variables would have to occur to result in a negative (or positive) response to water resources?
 
5. What are the best estimates of the probabilities for these changes to occur? What tools are available to quantify the effect of these changes. Can these estimates be skillfully predicted?
 
6. What actions (adaptation/mitigation) can be undertaken in order to minimize or eliminate the negative consequences of these changes (or to optimize a positive response)?

7. What  are specific recommendations  for policymakers and other stakeholders?

The meeting information follows:

LOGISTICS:  This will be a two-day workshop at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C.  Space is limited so please register early.  Registration at:  http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2VCLY2M

 PURPOSE:  Over the last two years, the Western Governors’ Association and Western States Water Council have worked with a diverse group of federal, tribal, state, and local partners from the public and private sectors to solicit decision-makers’ priority needs for drought and water information. This meeting will focus particular attention on coordinating drought and related climate services and response among federal agencies and at federal, state, tribal, and non-governmental intersections in order to meet priority needs.   The goal is to develop a set of specific recommendations to improve drought information coordination, delivery, and response in a changing environment.   

 TOPICS:

  • The sectoral impacts of drought and climate change
  • The need for and urgency of drought and climate response
  • Existing and emerging drought and climate services and response programs
  • Delivering drought and climate services to end users
  • Investing in basic data and forecasts
  • Revisiting a national drought policy
  • Specific recommendations and activities to strengthen drought response and services

 AUDIENCE:  The audience for this workshop includes water, climate, and drought-related program managers, policy-makers, and budget analysts; strategic planners; federal-tribal-state-local partnership coordinators; water managers; drought & climate service-related researchers and academics; and interested NGO and private sector participants.

SPEAKERS:  Invited speakers include Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, Representative Grace Napolitano, and state, federal, NGO, and academic drought and climate experts.

The talks and breakout sessions (as of the August 20th draft agenda) include

Keynote: Water and Climate in the West Governor Bill Ritter, Colorado (invited)

Water: The Nation’s Fundamental Climate Issue Anne Castle or John Tubbs, DOI Water and Science (invited)

Drought Policy and Planning – National and International Perspectives Don Willhite, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska

Drought and Climate – State of the Science Richard Seager, Lamont‐Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University

WGA – Climate Adaptation and Drought Brian Turner, Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, California

National Integrated Drought Information System Roger Pulwarty, Director, NOAA/NIDIS

Regional Meetings – What we’ve learned to date. Tom Iseman, WGA & Tony Willardson, WSWC

Lunch Keynote: NOAA Climate Services Jane Lubchenco, NOAA Administrator

Drought Impacts and Preparedness – Panel I Veva Deheza – State of Colorado
Carol Couch – State of Georgia Rueben Solis – State of Texas Kirk Bemis – Zuni Tribe

Drought Impacts and Preparedness – Panel II Carol Collier – Delaware River Basin Commission Andrew Fahlund, American Rivers Tom Donnelly, National Water Resources Association (invited) Floyd Wicks, Former CEO, American States Water Company (invited)

Breakout Group – Drought Impacts, Preparedness, and Adaptation
What are the impacts of drought to different sectors, including socio‐economic impacts, and how do we track and report them? What are best practices for preparing for drought and climate change?

NIDIS: Regional Drought Early Warning Systems Jim Verdin, USGS/NIDIS Roger Pulwarty, NOAA/NIDIS

NIDIS: The U.S. Drought Portal Mike Brewer, NOAA/NIDIS Mark Svoboda, National Drought Mitigation Center/NIDIS

Breakout Group – Delivering Drought Information Services How do we ensure priority services are delivered on‐the‐ground? How do we know that drought and climate services are meeting user needs?

Federal Agencies: Coordinating Federal Climate Services for Drought and Water Loren Labovitch, CEQ, Moderator Panel Discussion: NOAA, USDOI, USDA, USFS, EPA, COE

Lunch Keynote: Drought and Climate in Congress – Representative Grace Napolitano (invited)

National Drought Policy and Climate Risk Management Don Willhite, University of Nebraska, Moderator Panel Discussion: NGA, Congressional Staff, OSTP

Breakout Groups: Next steps to ensure that priority services are delivered to on‐the‐ground users.

I will post a summary of the meeting if it becomes available. If so, we can then assess whether the Western Governors  accept a narrow top-down IPCC model driven perspective as contrasted with the more inclusive bottom-up water resource based viewpoint.

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Meeting September 7-9 2010 “Surface Temperature Datasets For The 21st Century” Chaired By Peter Thorne

There is a meeting scheduled September 7-9 2010 in the United Kingdom in Exeter titled

Surface temperature datasets for the 21st Century

This meeting has a set of white papers to frame the meeting.

However, at the very start of the meeting, it presents the bias of the organizers of this meeting as they write

“To meet 21st Century requirements it is necessary to reconsider our analyses of historical land surface temperature changes. This is about much more than simply re-engineering existing datasets. These datasets were adequate for assessing whether climate was changing at the global scale. This current exercise should not be interpreted as a fundamental questioning of these previous efforts. But these pre-existing datasets cannot answer all the questions that society is now quite rightly asking. They do not constitute a sufficiently large sample to truly understand our uncertainty at regional scales. At monthly resolution they are also of limited utility in characterising extremes in climate and their changes.”

The  statement that “These datasets were adequate for assessing whether climate was changing at the global scale“, yet “They do not constitute a sufficiently large sample to truly understand our uncertainty at regional scales” is scientifically flawed. The global average trends are composed of the summation of the regional trends!  The data cannot be adequate on the global scale (as an average) but not on the regional scale.

While, we need to wait to see what they actually accomplish at this meeting, the above statement indicates the organizers are persisting in assuming any regional variations are random and that a clear signal emerges when the surface temperature data are globally averaged.  More generally, they appear to be ignoring research that conflicts with their findings.

The Chair of the organizing committee is Peter Thorne and the other members are listed here along with the agenda. This committee includes John Christy, so there will be some ability to present alternative views of the surface temperature trend data.  However, a number of the attendees already have shown a bias in their viewpoints and even explicit successful attempts to suppress alternative viewpoints (e.g. Tom Peterson who is now President Commission of Climatology and NOAA NCDC Chief Scientist and Peter Thorne who is Chair of this meeting and now also works at NOAA NCDC).

I propose a litmus test to ascertain if this meeting is just another exercise by these scientists to endorse the analyses that they have already reported on in the 2007 IPCC WG  and the CCSP reports, or is finally an honest attempt to examine the existing biases and uncertainties.  One test will be how they respond to the peer-reviewed issues we raised in our papers

Klotzbach, P.J., R.A. Pielke Sr., R.A. Pielke Jr., J.R. Christy, and R.T. McNider, 2009: An alternative explanation for differential temperature trends at the surface and in the lower troposphere. J. Geophys. Res., 114, D21102, doi:10.1029/2009JD011841.

Klotzbach, P.J., R.A. Pielke Sr., R.A. Pielke Jr., J.R. Christy, and R.T. McNider, 2010: Correction to: “An alternative explanation for differential temperature trends at the surface and in the lower troposphere. J. Geophys. Res., 114, D21102, doi:10.1029/2009JD011841″, J. Geophys. Res., 115, D1, doi:10.1029/2009JD013655

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.

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, 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., 114, D05105, doi:10.1029/2008JD010938.

If they ignore these papers and others papers by our colleagues (e.g. McIntyre et al 2010), or dismiss them without a thorough rationale why, this will confirm that this meeting is just a self-justification exercise. If they seriously consider this other work, however, it would be an important step forward to achieving a more robust land temperature assessment.  I am not optimistic, unfortunately.

Finally, we will be reporting on several new papers in the coming weeks and months that will provide further documentation of the serious issues with the use of the land surface temperature  data to assess multi-decadal trends. This will include the quantitative analysis of the well- and poorly- sited USHCN sites that Anthony Watts and volunteers have been instrumental in surveying. 

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Filed under Climate Science Meetings, Climate Science Misconceptions