Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hans von Storch beantwortet Fragen in einem "Experteninterview - Klimawandel und Medien"

Im Zuge einer Studie zur "Darstellung des anthropogenen Klimawandels in den deutschen Medien" wurden mir eine Reihe von Fragen gestellt - hier diese Fragen und meine Antworten.



Was hat Sie dazu gebracht sich mit dem Gebiet des anthropogenen Klimawandels und dessen Kommunikation zu beschäftigen?

Ich bin zu dem Thema Klimawandel gekommen weil sich die ganze Klimaforschung in diese Richtung bewegt hat seit dem Ende der 1980er Jahre. Dass ich mich dann auch der Frage der Kommunikation zugewandt habe, hing damit zusammen, dass ich mit meinem soziologischen Kollegen Nico Stehr eine fruchtbare Kooperation aufgebaut habe – und gleichzeitig erleben musste, wie sich viele meiner Kollegen in eine wenig konstruktive Spirale der Politisierung begaben und dabei eine Rhetorik wählten, die uns schon damals absehbar auf Dauer Probleme bei der Glaubwürdigkeit bescheren würde. SO wurde mir immer klarer, dass das Thema „Klima“ nicht nur eine naturwissenschaftliche Herausforderung darstellt, sondern auch eine kulturwissenschaftliche.

Welche Verbindung haben Sie heute zu dem Thema?

Ich beschäftige mich weiterhin mit Aspekten des menschgemachten Klimawandels, aber auch mit Fragen der derzeitigen Klimarisiken, speziell im Hinblick auf alle Art von Windstürmen – und auch weiter mit der kulturellen Konstruktion des Klimawandels.

Wie nehmen Sie heute die öffentliche Kommunikation über den anthropogenen Klimawandel innerhalb Deutschlands wahr?

Die Kommunikation hat sich seit einem Jahr, also seit ClimateGate, IPCC-Schlampereien und dem Scheitern von COP-15, deutlich verbessert. Das Reden ist weniger dramatisch geworden, die bekannten Alarmisten können sich der Aufmerksamkeit der Öffentlichkeit weniger sicher sein. Die Klimawissenschaft entpolitisiert sich etwas, und die Politik scheint sich mehr auf das praktisch Erreichbare zu fokussieren.

Wodurch wird die Kommunikation aktuell beeinflusst oder erschwert?

Durch vergangene Sünden wird die Kommunikation derzeit erschwert. Wenn Einzelfälle, wie Stürme, Überschwemmungen seinerzeit von Alarmisten medienwirksam dem menschgemachten Klimawandel zugerechnet wurden, sehen wir jetzt einen kalten Winter ebenso unzulässig argumentativ durch Skeptiker instrumentalisiert. Ein weiteres Problem ist, dass beide Extremgruppen, Skeptiker und Alarmisten, so tun, als gebe es nur diese beiden Positionen der Über- oder Untertreibung, während die besonnene Mitte dann von der Öffentlichkeit nicht mehr wahrgenommen wird. Es ist interessant zu sehen, wie diese beiden Gruppen sich gegenseitig bedingen und brauchen.

Wie sollte nach Ihrer Ansicht zukünftig eine gelungene öffentliche Kommunikation des anthropogenen Klimawandels ausgestaltet sein?

Wenig positiv ist die Neigung des Moralisierens und des Propagierens, Deutschland solle Vorbild für die Welt sein, während andere Staaten wie China und die USA dämonisiert werden. Die Kommunikation sollte einerseits die wissenschaftlich belegten Perspektiven als fachliche Nebenbedingungen für Entscheidungen darstellen, andererseits die Entscheidungsmöglichkeiten von Politik und Gesellschaft als politische Optionen (also wertegesteuert auszuwählen) herausstellen.

Was sollten Ihrer Meinung nach die vordergründigen Ziele der öffentlichen Kommunikation des anthropogenen Klimawandels in der Zukunft sein?

Die Kommunikation liegt dann richtig, wenn Sie von den Eckpunkten ausgeht, dass der menschgemachte Klimawandel real ist und von den Emissionen von Treibhausgasen ausgeht; dass ein Umsteuern nur in begrenztem Masse möglich ist, dass dies aber vor allem über signifikante technologische Erneuerungen erreichbar sein wird, einfach wegen des enormen Nachholbedarfs bei der übergroßen Mehrheit der Menschheit. Insofern gilt es die Verminderung der Emissionen zu erreichen – in dem Maße wie dies sozial vertretbar ist – während andererseits die Verletzlichkeit vieler Gesellschaften gegenüber den Gefahren des Klimas (und nicht nur eines zukünftig veränderten Klimas) zu reduzieren ist. Also neben Emissionsminderungen vor allem durch technologischen Fortschritt: Anpassung.

Es sollte ganz deutlich gemacht werden, dass nur eine effiziente Klimaschutzpolitik wirksam (im Sinne von merkbarer Beschränkung und Verlangsamung des menschgemachten Klimawandels) ist, dass symbolische Akte diesen Prozess unterstützen, keinesfalls aber ersetzen können.

Diese Kommunikation sollte auch darstellen, dass Wissenschaft selbst ein sozialer Prozess ist, in dem es nicht nur um Wahrheit und Wissen sondern auch um Egos, Macht, Ideologien und Weltbilder geht. Ich würde mir mehr Artikel und Fernsehsendungen wünschen, die die Subjektivität der agierenden Wissenschaftler, und deren Bemühungen, diese Subjektivität zu überwinden oder zu begrenzen, zeigen.


Was sollte ggfs. an der öffentlichen Kommunikation des anthropogenen Klimawandels verbessert werden und was muss passieren, damit es besser wird?

Mehr Offenheit gegenüber Nachfragen und Skeptizismus; mehr Skepsis gegenüber Alarmisten (die die interessanteren „Geschichten“ für Medien und Politik haben); Standhaftigkeit gegenüber der Versuchung, Einzelereignisse als Beleg für weitergehende Aussagen (etwa zur Irrelevanz des menschgemachten Treibhauseffektes) über die Klimadynamik; Zurückhaltung beim argumentativen Einsatz allerneuester wissenschaftlicher Ergebnisse (vieles in „nature“ und „science“ erweist sich später als revisionsbedürftig); Bewertung wissenschaftlicher Ergebnisse unter methodischen Gesichtspunkten, weniger unter dem Gesichtspunkt der politischen Einsetzbarkeit.

64 comments:

Mathis Hampel said...

Sehr gut!
Vielen Dank!
M

Anonymous said...

"Die Kommunikation liegt dann richtig, wenn Sie von den Eckpunkten ausgeht, dass der menschgemachte Klimawandel real ist und von den Emissionen von Treibhausgasen ausgeht;"

Was stützt Ihre Aussage hierzu? Ich als Realist sehe dies nicht.

Georg Hoffmann said...

Im Wesentlichen gibt's natuerlich nichts einzuwenden.
Einige Punkte halte ich fuer uebertrieben, oder sogar stark uebertrieben. Waehrend zwar auf die USA als Energieverschwender gern eingehackt wird ("daemonisiert" nu ja), habe ich zumindest bei Internetdiskussionen noch nicht einmal gehoert, dass China oder Indien fuer die Steigerung ihrer Emissionen angeklagt oder verteufelt wuerden. Da wuerde ich schon fast nach einer Quelle fragen, wenn ich nicht wuesste, dass Googlen ja so ziemlich alles liefert.
Nehmen wir an auf einer Skala von 1-10 ist 1 "Lasst uns die Weltwirtschaft C-frei in eine neue groene Epoche fuehren" und 10 "Die Klimaaenderung ist nicht mehr zu aendern und die Kosten auch nur eines Versuchs das CO2 zu reduzieren ueberwiegen die vermeintlichen Vorteile bei weitem. Lasst uns einfach ein paar Deiche hoeherziehen.". Dann hoeren sich deine Statements so ungefaehr zwischen 8 und 9 an. Wuerdest du zustimmen.

Hier noch meine Einschaetzung: Es wird weder eine Adaptation noch Emissioneinschraenkungen geben.

PS Was mir fehlt, ist vielleicht der Hinweis, dass Klimaaenderung fuer die jetzige Generation gelaufen ist (ie nicht mehr in ihrer/unserer Lebenszeit beeinflusst werden kann) und dass es bei den CO2 Emissionen immer und ausschliesslich um ein moralisches Problem geht und nicht um ein direktes, praktisches Problem. Ich finde, dass koennte man oefter ein bisschen mehr betonen.

Werner Krauss said...

I push the "like" button! Sehr präzise.

Darf ich noch ein bißchen über den Gegensatz effizient versus symbolisch nachdenken?
"Es sollte ganz deutlich gemacht werden, dass nur eine effiziente Klimaschutzpolitik wirksam (...) ist, dass symbolische Akte diesen Prozess unterstützen, keinesfalls aber ersetzen können."

Danke. Ich geb dann Bescheid.

Hans von Storch said...

Georg, ich denke, die beiden Möglichkeiten auf Deiner Skala sind keine wirklichen Gegensätze - es wird von den Alarmisten gerne so verkürzt; aber wenn Du auf einer Antwort auf dieser Skala bestehst, dann gebe ich eine 5. Letztendlich ist es aber eine Frage danach, wie wir Zukunft gestalten im Angesicht von multiplen Herausforderungen, wovon Klima eine ist.

Ich gehe davon aus, dass wir sowohl signifikante Emissionssteigerungsminderungen, später sogar Emissionsminderungen bekommen als auch ein deutliche Reduktion der Verletzlichkeit gegenüber den Klimagefahren. Dauert vielleicht etwas länger. Je schneller die Grundbedürfnisse der Menschen auf der Welt befriedigt werden, umso schneller wird dieser Prozeß ablaufen; auch je mehr wir Technologie und weniger Moralisieren wir als Werkzeug einsetzen, desto einfacher wird dies gelingen.

Für mich sind CO2 Emissionen ein direktes, praktisches Problem, weil sie mit realen Foglen einhergehen, denen es sich zu stellen gilt. Moral? Die Moral, die es gestattet, Probleme wie Hunger und wirtschaftliches Ungleichgewicht zu verdrängen? Die Moral, die es gestattet, die Anzahl der Menschen dauernd massiv zu erhöhen?

P Gosselin said...

Scale of 1 to 10?
You can write me down as a "15".

Anonymous said...

... womit einmal mehr - und beiläufig - der nicht näher definierte Begriff "Klimawandel" in die Debatte eingeführt wird, als handelte es sich dabei um eine etymologische Selbstverständlichkeit. Dabei ist bestenfalls die Rede von einer schwach legitimierten Begriffsverknüpfung - Klimawandel = AGW.

Wäre interessant zu erfahren, wie eine unscharfe Terminologie dieser Art zwischen einem eben so selbstverständlichen wie natürlichen und einem tatsächlich von Menschen verursachtem "Klimawandel" unterscheiden will.
Begriffsabgrenzung?
Reichlich Arbeit für Phraseologen.

Georg Hoffmann said...

@Hans

"aber wenn Du auf einer Antwort auf dieser Skala bestehst,"
Natuerlich bestehe ich. Antwort, Bube!

Ich dachte (ohne mich in ein Lager begeben zu wollen, was ich aber bei anderer Gelegenheit gerne tue), dass die verfuegbaren Mittel endlich sind und man sich ja manchmal im Leben entscheiden muss, was man lieber will. Urlaub auf den Malediven oder Doppelverglasung.
Die Mittel sind vielleicht nicht "endlich" im Sinne einer fixen Summe, die 2010 an alle Mitspielenden verteilt wird aber sie sind endlich. Die 5 gibt also eine ganz gute Orientierung.

Ich sehe ueberhaupt keine direkten negativen Folgen von CO2 Emissionen (welche sollten das sein?). Ich bin laengst unter der Erde, bevor irgendwelchen ernsthaften negativen Folgen einer Erwaermung zu spueren sind (gemaess IPCC). Es ist also ein moralisches Problem. Ich schuetze mich nicht reflexhaft gegen direkte Gefahren (das wuerde ich nicht unbedingt ein moralisches Problem nennen), sondern ich taete bei den CO2 Emissionen etwas fuer andere zukuenftige Personen, die ich ja nichtmals kenne. Das nenne ich ein moralisches Problem.

PS Pass auf mit der Buttersauce ueber den Krabben. Eine einzige Sauerei.

Werner Krauss said...

ein paar ketzerische Anmerkungen, Hans:
"die besonnene Mitte" ist ein rhetorische Figur aus der Politik. Es ist schon richtig, dass sich Alarmisten und Skeptiker gegenseitig brauchen. Aber es ist auch richtig, dass "die besonnene Mitte" beide genauso dringend braucht. CDU/SPD/FDP/GRUENE haben das schon lange erkannt, was "Mitte" ist. Und die sind bekanntlich ja sehr erfolgreich damit (?).

Und wie sieht denn wohl so ein moralfreier und effektiver "technologischer Fortschritt" aus, der allenfalls von Symbolen begleitet wird? In welchem Rahmen findet der statt? Gesteuert von so
eine Art Internationale wisenschaftlicher Sozialisten, oder doch eher ein neoliberales freier-Markt-modell? Oder eine noch zu erfindende global governance Srategie? Nicht Kapitalismus, nicht Kommunismus, sondern ideologiefreier Kohlenstoffismus?

Ohne Symbole - also keine EU, USA, UNO, China, Kuba oder was weiß ich Symbole auf den CO2 freien Schloten, den CO2 Speichern, den Baggern die die Deiche bauen? Auch keine Texaco, Monsanto, Siemens, Liebherr oder was-weiß-ich Aufschriften? Kein Zapatisten Logo, kein Greenpeace, keine Mutter Theresa? Eher so eine Art no label geo-engineering Technologie die vom Himmel fällt?

Mitigation und Anpassung ohne Religion, Ideologie, Moral, Symbole oder son Quatsch. Einfach nur: Techno. Wie in der Playmobil oder Legowelt. Ob das man hinhaut....

Ich stimme Dir trotz dieser Polemik zu. Pragmatismus ist vielleicht ein Schlagwort. Aber das zu füllen ist nicht leicht.

ghost said...

was mir an den Medien nicht gefällt, dass sie zwar immer wieder neue Papiere (und/oder Erkenntnisse) vorstellen, aber es oft nach Schema F tun (Reißerische Headline, einige Zitatfetzen von den Autoren, einige Zitatfetzen von "Gegneren" und Befürwortern, sinnlose Zuspitzung), also Martin Robbins im Guardian fasst es sehr gut und witzig zusammen: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/the-lay-scientist/2010/sep/24/1 (ein weiterer sehr guter Artikel: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/the-lay-scientist/2010/sep/28/science-journalism-spoof).

Meiner Meinung nach, ist die Krise der Kommunikation nicht nur die Schuld der (einige) Wissenschaftler, sondern eine große Schuld hat der Partner: die Journalisten. Sicher, hier ist der falsche Ort, darüber zu meckern, aber das Hyperventilieren in der Klimadebatte ist nicht nur die Schuld von alaramistischen (wer auch immer das sein soll) und skeptischen (sind das nicht alle, also "skeptischen") Wissenschaftlern und ihre falsche Kommunikation. Im Gegenteil, ich sehe sehr viel mehr Anstrengungen auf der Wissenschaftsseite, gerade beim Mainstream, als auf Journalistenseite. Also finde ich die Selbstgeißelung etwas übertrieben.

Für mich ist der Wissenschaftsjournalismus arg verbesserungswürdig. Sensation und Kontroverse geht oft vor richtiger Recherche.

PS: ich habe hier nur über halbwegs vernüftige Medien und Wissenschaftler gesprochen. FOX News und Konsorten sowie politisch motivierte "Skeptiker" sind sowas von daneben, und nicht diskussionsfähig.

Björn said...

Hallo Herr Kraus, das mit der Notwendigkeit von Symbolen kaufe ich Ihnen nicht ganz ab, allerdings habe ich nicht Ihre politologischer Brille auf. In meinem Bekanntenkreis, gerade bei den älteren Wohlstandsbürgern, die in ihrem Leben vieles leisten mussten und erreicht haben, gibt es eine große Sehnsucht nach phrasenfreier Kommunikation. Leute, die in ihrem Leben gelernt haben sich eigene Meinungen zu bilden, wissen, dass Symbole immer zu aussagelosen Phrasen verleiten, die im wahren Leben nicht weiterführen.

Dennoch glauben Poliker ganz offensichtlich, in ihrer Kommunikation nicht ohne mehr oder weniger nichtssagende Symbole auskommen zu können. Ist das aber eine echte Notwendigkeit oder nicht doch Brennstoff für Politikverdrossenheit?

Werner Krauss said...

Hallo Björn,
als Ethnologe verstehe ich Symbole im Kontext von Kultur. Kultur kann man als ein Netz von mehr oder weniger geteilten Bedeutungen verstehen (wir wissen, was wir meinen, wenn wir uns "Frohe Weihnachten" wünschen). Bedeutungen sind nicht einfach in den Köpfen, sondern Symbole sind solche Träger von Bedeutungen. Zum Beispiel das Kreuz symbolisiert das Christentum. Dazu gehört das Ritual (der Gottesdienst) und die Auslegung - es gibt ja verschiedene Arten von Christen. Symbole schillern und sind anschlussfähig. Die Bundeskanzlerin schwört z.B. auf die Bibel, wenn sie vereidigt wird, und Geschäfte werden auf Treu und Glauben abgeschlossen etc usw...

In den Umwelt- und Klimawissenschaften sind betont 'nüchterne' Ansätze vorherrschend. Insbesondere der szientistsche (mathematisch, physikalisch etc) und der kognitive (Modelle). Doch um wirksam zu werden, knüpfen diese Wissenschaften ebenfalls an das kulturelle Netz von Bedeutungen und die Symbole an - sonst könnten sie sich gar nicht verständlich machen. Sie benützen Bilder wie die Welt als eine (Klima-)Maschine, ein Uhrwerk, als Ökosystem, als blauer Planet oder was auch immer. Man höre sich nur mal die keynotes bei Klimakongressen an - Metaphern- und Symbole prasseln wie ein warmer Regen auf die Teilnehmer und stiften so Gemeinsamkeit und (Anschluss an) ein Bedeutungsnetz.

Das gilt ja schon allein für die Sprache - man muss zwangsläufig Metaphern (ein Bild steht für ein anderes) oder Metonyme (ein Teil steht für das Ganze) verwenden, und diese müssen wiederum von den anderen verstanden werden etc. Man kommt nicht drum rum - ein Welt ohne Symbole existiert nicht. Daher meine (polemische) Bemerkung, dass ein vermeintlich nüchterner Zugang zur Klimaproblematik via Technologie an die Vorstellung von Welt bei Lego oder Playmo anknüpft - die Welt als Technospiel.

Was daraus folgt? Nicht gegen Symbole wettern (hiflt nichts), sondern ein kritischer Umgang mit Symbolen. Man muss sie interpretieren und nachverfolgen, wie sie sich vernetzen und was sie implizieren. Gerade in den Klimawissenschaften sind viele Experten auf diesem Gebiet unterwegs, die sich hinter ihrem weißen Wissenschaftlerkittel verstecken und behaupten, sie würden keine Symbole verwenden, sondern nur reine Wissenschaft. Pustekuchen!

co2fan said...

Hans
"Die Kommunikation liegt dann richtig, wenn Sie von den Eckpunkten ausgeht, dass der menschgemachte Klimawandel real ist und von den Emissionen von Treibhausgasen ausgeht;"

So you think you have a deeper understanding of human contribution to climate than Prof. Lindzen?:

"Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly exaggerated computer predictions combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a rollback of the industrial age.”

The NULL theory that the present climate is natural still stands unchallenged.

Harald

ghost said...

@Harald

you have two opinions of two scientists. In this case, Prof Lindzen and Prof von Storch. Both have a good reputation. Who do you believe? What is your personal way to decide? I assume you are a layman like me.

Marco said...

ghost, it gets worse: unlike Harald's attempt to antagonise two people, Lindzen does NOT deny that AGW is real, at least not in the quote he uses, nor AFAIK anywhere else. What Lindzen DOES challenge is that the temperature increase is and/or will be a significant problem; Hans von Storch does not claim this in this article, and AFAIK he is one of those who is somewhat (rather?) skeptical about several projected impacts. But he can gladly correct me on that one.

ghost said...

@Marco
I think, for years Prof Lindzen has challenged that greenhouse gas changes can significantly increase the temperatures. That is a difference.

And to this specific quote: for me, it is the opposite of what Prof von Storch suggests because it includes not reasonable certainty (clear exaggeration of the temperature increase in "models"), political statement (rollback of the industrial revolution), and overstating the own research, and thus, narrowing the view to the own point of view.

Maybe I am wrong.

co2fan said...

ghost

The difference between the 2 "scientific opinions" is that Dr.Storch's claims overturn the null theory, and therefore has the burden of proof.

Linear extrapolations of cyclical behavior are troublesome.
See P. Gosselin's post on the 1974 "Der Spiegel" article which was based in the linear extrapolation of the 30 year cold cycle.

http://notrickszone.com/2010/12/17/der-spiegel-1974-new-ice-age-approaching-odds-of-a-warm-future-at-best-1-in-10000/

The longer term trends are up slightly, but nothing to indicate an extraordinary departure from our chaotic, multi-cyclical natural climate.

There are many other things in the earth environment that mankind is messing up, which I do, and most people should, care about. The climate is not one of them.

Frohe Weihnachten.

Harald

Marco said...

Ghost, you add the word "significant", which is both a statistical and 'moral' term. I really don't know what Lindzen really means with it, since he tends to throw opinions around in which significant is meant to mean "having an undesirable impact", to "statistically". But he really does not deny that greenhouse gases increase temperatures. He just believes that there are strong negative feedbacks.

Hans von Storch said...

Thanks folks, for all the contributions. Really helping me to reflect about these issues. Danke.
Somebody referred to Richard Lindzen: "So you think you have a deeper understanding of human contribution to climate than Prof. Lindzen?". I value him as a good dynamical meteorologist; I consider myself as a good statistical climatologist; my assessment about the reality of climate change is based on the "detection and attribution"-body of evidence, which is mostly statistical in nature (involving model hypotheses about the response to given drivers) - see a thread here on Klimazwiebel in December 2009 (?). So, my answer is: "in a sense, yes, I do think so".

Something else - Werner - is there a difference between symbolic acts and symbols? I wrote about symbolic acts.

Reiner Grundmann said...

I think what Hans means is symbol as 'token gesture'.

Regarding symbols, it is perhaps useful to distinguish between two meanings of symbols,
1 = symbol representing something else and
2 = symbol representing nothing else (being the real thing).

Examples of 1 are described by Werner above and this should be uncontroversial (also to people who love plain language).

Now, what are examples for 2, if any? Some candidates are: money, power, truth (religious and scientific).
In the catholic interpretation of the Eucharist, bread and wine are not representations of Christ's body and blood (as some protestants think), but 'real presence', Christ himself. Likewise, scientific truth is not 'a representation' of nature but taken for real (we believe in models as if they were reality--we only can describe nature through our theories and it would have no reality outside of these because it would have no meaning).
Money is not a symbol of wealth but real wealth. Power is not a representation of the people but a real force.

Does Cancun represent something else or is it the real thing?

Would a more ambitious treaty be a representation or the real thing?

eduardo said...

@17,

Co2fan,

I would disagree with you on this point. From the physical point of view there is no null hypothesis that would not need an explanation. For instance, we observed that the sun rises every morning. If one day we do notsee the sun raising, you would claim that we need a theory for this exceptional observation. But I would claim that we need a theory for both observations.
By the same token, it is not enough to claim that the observed increase in global temperature is just part of a natural cycle or a 'recovery of the Little Ice Age'. This are not scientific falsifiable explanations.
I would even dare to say - without any intention of being aggressive - that these 'explanations' have a rather Aristotelian and pre-Newtonian character: objects fall to the center of the Earth because it is their natural preferred position.

The natural cycles, natural or anthropogenic trends, etc, have to be physically explained in detail. Otherwise they are also just hand waiving.

Anonymous said...

Eduardo (# 21), by reading your sentence:

      "This are not scientific falsifiable explanations."

Do you suggest that there must be falsifiable explanations? Do we have already a possibility to falsify anthropogenic climate change?

namenlos

Anonymous said...

Sorry, the questions look like an option for a sham debate to me. Only questioning "heute" (today) -- without yesterday and without explaining why (well, backward-looking is not really progressive). And a "question process" without the event which "shall not be named": climategate. The seven questions (100 words, 5 times "anthropogenic climate change" ("anthropogener Klimawandel") (...also in the headline stands "anthropogenic climate change" without a question...) are dodging the dogma as they do not include the hypothesis of CO2-relations at all. Who shall be able to answer this questions in a sensical way? Perhaps a wicked problem? Tricky questions but nearly absurd -- for instance in regard to the 2°C limit.

We had following information with a "typical" alarmism-mistake (cf. HERE) from the headquarter of the United Nations, New York ("Gipfel über den Klimawandel. Die Wissenschaft", 22. September 2009) (which web-link was originally hosted on the webpage of the Foreign Ministry of Germany -- now the link is gone from that site) (my emphasis and translation in brackets):

      "Rund 20 bis 30 Prozent aller Pflanzen- und Tierarten sind sehr (very) wahrscheinlich vom Aussterben bedroht wenn der Anstieg der globalen Durchschnittstemperatur mehr als 1,5°C bis 2.5°C beträgt."

But the "Summary for Policy Makers" of the 4th Assessment Report reads without the word "very" (p. 6 (HERE)):

      "Approximately 20 to 30 percent of plant and animal species assessed so far are likely to be at increased risk of extinction if increases in global average temperature exceed 1.5 to 2.5°C. [...]"

The Foreign Ministry of Germany seemed to have the same source as the "Consortium of public-law broadcasting institutions of the Federal Republic of Germany" (ARD) (Tagesschau, 17th November 2007 (WATCH) (our emphasis):

      "[...] 20 bis 30 Prozent der Arten wären sehr wahrscheinlich vom Aussterben bedroht."

(To read about further inconsisties about this extinction issue cf. dotearth.)

Interesting that the Consortium of public-law broadcasting institutions of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Foreign Ministry of Germany are the only two sources for this mistake.

namenlos

Anonymous said...

We have John Schellnhuber, Director of Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) (cf. HERE), spreading nonsense with respect to the earth system on the 30th October 2009 in "Die lange Nacht des Klimas" on ZDF (public-service German television channel established by joint contract between the German federal states) that most of the Himalayan glaciers will be gone in 30 to 40 years (one ZDF-Video has been banned by YouTube, colorably wrt copyright violation; HERE is another one):

      "Wenn jetzt, und das kann man sehr leicht ausrechnen, in den nächsten 30, 40 Jahren, und bei 2 Grad Erwärmung würde das mit Sicherheit passieren, wenn diese Gletscher verschwinden zum größten Teil, dann werden eben diese Flüsse zum im Sommer trocken fallen und im Winter, und das ist die Kehrseite des Ganzen, werden die Niederschläge als Regen ins Tal rauschen. Das heißt die Überschwemmungen werden viel dramatischer werden."

Hear also (ibid.) (my emphasis):

      "[In Amerika] gibt es dann auch nicht, err, eine Zivilgesellschaft, die eben so wie in Europa auch intelektuell die Medien beherrschen kann, oder die Medien zumindest beeinflussen kann."

namenlos

Hans von Storch said...

Danke, Namenlos, für den Hinweis auf die Sendung - ich hatte diesen Film gesehen, aber dann nicht mehr finden können. Können Sie den Film irgendwie herunterladen und mir davon eine Kopie überlassen?

Zusammen mit der Dokumentation über das Projekt HIGH NOON in der ZDF Umwelt Sendung von Michael Wiedemann zeigt dieser Film erneut, dass der Himalaya Fall gerade auch vom PIK argumentativ eingesetzt wurde. Dazu dann der Vortrag von van Ypersele vor der UNFCCC Konferenz in Barcelona im November 2009 (der ihm in diesem Punkt vom IPCC Büro überlassen wurde, wie er sagt).

Übrigens landeten beide Ihre Beiträge wieder im SPAM - keine Ahnung warum. Ich hatte das gesehen, und dann gleich reagiert. Vielleicht liegt es an der Länge - bitte ggfs. direkt bei mir per Mail Bescheid sagen, wenn das wieder passiert.

Anonymous said...

Um ein bekanntes Diktum von HvSt etwas abzuwandeln: die Null-Hypothese ist Quatsch!

Selbstverständlich verändern menschliche Einflüsse, insbesondere Emissionen aller Art unsere Umwelt.
Der Versuch, diese Einflüsse im Detail und in der Summe zu quantifizieren, erweist sich allerdings als überaus schwierig, wenn nicht als unlösbar.

Eine (banale) Erkenntnis an sich, die beide Lager reichlich mit Denkstoff versorgen müsste, würden sie sich in der Regel nicht damit begnügen, sich fortwährend ineinander zu verbeißen.
Aus etwas Distanz betrachtet, zeigt sich dabei eine wechselseitige Abhängigkeit, wie sie wohl keine der beiden Parteien wahrhaben möchte.

Nüchterne Betrachter fallen unter solchen "Kriegsumständen" wie gewohnt unter Matthäus (12,30):
„Wer nicht mit mir ist, der ist wider mich“
Eine zu allen (üblen) Zeiten besonders ekelhafte Form der Loyalitätseinforderung bzw. der schwarz/weiss-Denke.

Die Alarmisten müssen sich die Frage gefallen lassen, wie sie unter den hunderten von Einflussfaktoren und unbekannter Wechselwirkungen den einen, maßgeblichen identifiziert zu haben glauben.
Umgekehrt geht an die Hardcore-Skeptiker die Frage, weshalb man den Faktor CO2 (egal in welcher "Wirkpotenz") allein aufgrund der Tatsache ausschließen sollte, dass dessen prononcierteste Vertreter reihenweise Fehler begehen und sich Übertreibungen leisten.

Hoffnungen auf eine Post-Post-normale Wissenschaft oder wenigstens ex post-Redlichkeit?

eduardo said...

@22
Namenlos,

a scientific hypothesis must provide predictions that in turn should be confirmed or falsified, the anthropogenic climate change theory included. What I claim is that the same strict test should be applied to all other theories, such as that the present warming is 'a recovery of the Little Ice Age' (if this was a theory).

I usually perceive an unbalanced burden of proof and, in my view, the burden should be exactly the same. Skepticism is a healthy stance, but not so when it is only applied to the theories we dont like.

Anonymous said...

@ eduardo

"What I claim is that the same strict test should be applied to all other theories, such as that the present warming is 'a recovery of the Little Ice Age' (if this was a theory)"

Your claim seems to be runnning into a door that's wide open.

Should we ignore it just because we identify it as one of "the theories we dont like"?

http://www.scirp.org/Journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=3217&JournalID=69#abstract

co2fan said...

Falsification of the CO2 driven climate change to a "unprecedented" warmer world is on its way:

http://wetter.t-online.de/winter-extrem-neue-kleine-eiszeit-ist-jetzt-moeglich-/id_43699628/index

Just wait another 10 years, with a continuation of the "non-event" of the solar cycle 24

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/18/cosmically-heliospherically-and-terrestrially-fyi/#more-29629

Anonymous said...

@ 23

The last paragraph/sentence(/sign) should be a question(/mark).

namenlos

Anonymous said...

@ 35

Es tut mir leid. Für solche technischen Fragen (und Anleitungen zu eventuellen Copyrightverletzungen...?) bin ich leider ein schlechter Ansprechpartner. Mein Passen ist aber keine Katastrophe. Alternativ weise ich darauf hin, dass zum Beispiel for free ein YouTube-Downloder-Programm "downgeloadet" werden kann, nach dessen Instalation bequemes YouTube-Downloaden möglich ist.

namenlos

eduardo said...

@28

ignore it ? I am arguing quite the contrary: to dissect it as the AGW theory.
For instance, in the paper you linked, it is stated that the warming since the LIA has been about 1 K globally. This warming is attributed to an increase in solar irradiance of about 3 W/m2, that translates to 0.75 w/m2 of solar radiative forcing by taking into account the geometry of the Earth (night hemisphere and angle of incidence of solar rays at high latitude regions; here I am sidelining Earth's reflectivity, which would yield a lower figure still). This means that this paper is estimating the climate sensitivity to be
1.33 K per w/m2, which means that 2xCO2 (3.7w/m2 of forcing) should cause 5K warming.
Note that the 2xCO2 forcing is not the result of climate models. It is calculated from spectroscopic measurements of CO2 molecules at different temperatures and pressure.

So if you accept the theory in this paper and reasonably assume that climate sensitivity is the same for solar forcing and for GHG, you should be more alarmist than Hansen.


Can solar activity explain the observed stratospheric cooling in the late 20th century ?

Additionally, the paper describes natural oscillations like the PDO. Fine with me. Now I would ask beyond a mere description what causes these oscillations ? why do these oscillations modulate the global temperature ? why should they continue into the future?

Note that there me by perfectly valid answers to these questions. But why arent they critically asked in the first place, in the same was as they are asked for AGW ?

Anonymous said...

By reading one more time "Gipfel über den Klimawandel. Die Wissenschaft" (see above):

      "Sieben von zehn Katastrophen sind nun klimabedingt."

Supposedly "the science" says (my translation):

      "Nowadays seven out of ten catastrophes are due to climate."

Can someone perhaps refer me to the original source and/or the exactly definition of this seemingly non-sequitur?

namenlos

Anonymous said...

Eduardo (# 27)

I do not understand. Do you mean by "confirmed or falsified": confirmation is enough?

And: "should be applied to all other theories" would be with regard to falsification in many cases/theories (f.ex. especially outside the hard sciences) unearthly.

Did you answer my above question (Do we have already a possibility to falsify anthropogenic climate change?)?

Your last instruction/sentence is unconnected to my question, isn't it?

namenlos

eduardo said...

@34,
Namenlos wrote:
'Did you answer my above question (Do we have already a possibility to falsify anthropogenic climate change?)?'

In my opinion, not yet in a strict sense, because the predictions are still too imprecise. Even the IPCC wrote in its last report something.. like human activities are very likely part of the cause of observed late 20th century warming. It didnt write 'inequivocally demonstrated' for instance.


'Your last instruction/sentence is unconnected to my question, isn't it?'

It was rather a reminder to myself that we tend to fool ourselves very easily. May be others could find this reminder useful as well.

Anonymous said...

@ eduardo

"This means that this paper is estimating the climate sensitivity to be 1.33 K per w/m2, which means that 2xCO2 (3.7w/m2 of forcing) should cause 5K warming"

Akasofu's conclusions do not seem to support your opinion. They read (extract):

"The gradual recovery from 1800-1850 was ap-proximately linear, the recovery (warming) rate was about 0.5 °C/100 years. The same linear change continued from 1800-1850 to 2000"

"The view presented in this paper predicts the tem-perature increase in 2100 to be 0.5 °C ± 0.2 °C, rather than 4 °C ± 2.0 °C predicted by the IPCC.

Anonymous said...

@ 35

Eduardo, so you suggest that in the hypothesis of (C)AGW ((Catastrophic) Antropogenic Global Warming) confirmation would be enough?

Then you write (my emphases):

      "Even the IPCC wrote in its last report something.. like human activities are very likely part of the cause of observed late 20th century warming. It didnt write 'inequivocally demonstrated' for instance."

How "dare" you? Let me remind you: What do you say to this UNEP report in 2007?

      Evidence of Human-caused Global Warming “Unequivocal”, says IPCC (2 February 2007).

(For more information, please see www.ipcc.ch, www.wmo.int or www.unep.org, or contact:

UNEP – Michael Williams at +XX-XX-XXX-XXXX or michael.williams@XXXX.ch; Robert Bisset at +XX-X-XXXX-XXXX or robert.bisset@XXXX.org; or Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson, at +XXX-X-XXXXXX or nick.nuttall@XXXX.org.

WMO – Mark Oliver, Press Officer, at +XX-XX-XXX-XXXX or moliver@XXX.int; or Carine Richard Van-Maele, Chief of Communications and Public Affairs, at +XX XX XXX-XXXX or cvanmaele@XXX.int.)

My suggestion is that the word 'evidence' is ambiguous and, perhaps, it shouldn't be used/stressed.

That reminds me to 'calculation' and 'counting'. Calculation is also in economic usage and it implies uncertainty, an error range, or a tolerance region (the word is sometimes very useful/sometimes misleading). Counting designates in general certainty, certain results, and it's outcomes are rather falsifiable than calculations (the word is sometimes very useful/sometimes misleading) (cf. also HERE.).

namenlos

eduardo said...

@36,

well, thats why I said we have to read everything critically.
Akasofu's conclusions that you are citing are inconsistent. He/she is just extrapolating into the future the trends observed in the past. However, in the future we have the purported solar trend plus the GHG forcing. What he/she is assuming is that solar forcing has an effect on temperatures but GHG forcing has not. Why should 1 w/m2 of increase in solar forcing has an effect and an increase of 1w/m2 of GHG forcing should have no effect ? should he/she at least mention this in the paper ?

eduardo said...

@ 36,
namelos

the headline in this UNEP report is wrong, and if you read the text, you will notice that the headline is not substantiated. The IPCC says that the observed warming is unequivocal, and that human activities are very likely responsible. This UNEP report mingled both sentences, wrongly. The same mistake was made in Cancún, but it was later corrected. More details here

Anonymous said...

Yup, UNEP's message is wrong. Would you inform www.ipcc.ch, www.wmo.int or www.unep.org about that misleading coverage? It seems that nothing is changing -- since years. And the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reports in a mingled way: "The Fourth Assessment Report of the WMO/UNEP Intergovernmental Group on Climate Change (IPCC) [...]".

For beginners: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (note: the web link at the end of that web page redirects to http://www.ipcc.ch/):

      "The IPCC was established by UNEP and WMO in 1988".

Some evidences after a quick research:

The famous activist and climate expert Joseph Romm:

      "The weather is getting more extreme thanks to human-caused climate change (as I've pointed out many times, see here, here, and here)." (See Grist (7 November 2007): "More evidence of the link to climate change")

Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), said (my emphases):

      "'February 2nd [2007] will be remembered as the date when uncertainty was removed as to whether humans had anything to do with climate change on this planet,' said Steiner. 'We are looking for an unequivocal response from politicians. The evidence is on the table, we no longer have to debate that part of it.'" (See Écoles normales supérieures (February 2 2007): "Evidence of Human-Caused Global Warming Unequivocal".)

African policy makers are confused, too: Ministers of Health and Ministers of Environment of Africa gathered at Luanda, Angola, from 25 to 26 November 2010 (cf. HERE):

      "Concerned by the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 4th Assessment Report (AR4) that global warming is unequivocal and that human activities are undoubtedly its cause".

•••••••••••

My favourite for the moment: Robert Watson, paleoclimatologist, Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, UK, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from 1997 to 2002, Chair of Environmental Science and Science Director of the Tyndall Centre at the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom, in August 2007, wrote just a few months ago:

      "Last December, a very large majority of the scientific community and most politicians would have agreed that the scientific evidence of human-induced climate change was unequivocal and that the only question was whether the world’s political leaders could agree in Copenhagen". (See Watson, Worldbank Blog (03/02/2010): "Is the scientific evidence of human-induced climate change unequivocal?")

That nobody stands up here, and corrects Watson is strange, isn't it? (But if I remember Klimazwiebel correctly then Watson has some kind of fans here, too, right?)

Considering comments # 34 and # 37:

Eduardo, so you suggest that in the hypothesis of (C)AGW ((Catastrophic) Antropogenic Global Warming) confirmation would be enough?

namenlos

Günter Heß said...

@eduardo
You write:
“I usually perceive an unbalanced burden of proof and, in my view, the burden should be exactly the same. Skepticism is a healthy stance, but not so when it is only applied to the theories we dont like.”
From a science point of view the burden of proof is balanced. It’s on the guy who puts the hypothesis forward.
One guy says CO2 causes the warming, so he has to proof it. Another guy says, CO2 is not causing the warming, so he has to proof it.
However, it is not allowed that the first guy says, if you can’t proof that CO2 is not causing the warming, it is likely that it causes the warming.
Everything is therefore balanced, since the line of reasoning of my last sentence is not allowed.
But of course it is unbalanced in a sense that if you want to convince someone you have to proof it. He can in turn state, I am not convinced. That imbalance is necessary, because otherwise everybody can put forward weird statements and lay the burden of proof to you. Would be terrible for our democratic societies.
Best regards
Günter

Anonymous said...

Not real(ly) "news", but prime time with regard to above (cf. December 19, 2010 6:50 AM).

Nobody took notice? One time more ARD (Tagesschau) (also cf. ARD (17 November 2007):

      "Die Erderwärmung ist von Menschen verursacht und schreitet schneller voran als bisher angenommen. Das geht aus dem Abschlussbericht hervor, den der Weltklimarat heute im spanischen Valencia vorgestellt hat. An der Studie waren mehr als 2000 Wissenschaftler aus über 130 Ländern beteiligt.

      [...]

      "Der Bericht sagt deutlich, der Temperaturanstieg schreitet schneller voran als vermutet, er ist menschengemacht, und wenn keine Umkehr gelingt, wird Lebensraum zerstört." (Watch ibid.)

I guess it can be assumed that some people will need more details, too?

namenlos

Anonymous said...

@ Eduardo and Günter

Here is an interesting view on science

"Many of us look upon science as a rather absolutist system of belief. We have a vague notion that science strives to “prove” the correctness of this or that idea about nature and that scientists are all of paragons of objectivity in white coats. But the idea that some beliefs are “scientifically proven” is in many ways an oxymoron. In reality, science does not actually set out to provide positive proof of anything. Rather, it is a constantly self-correcting means of understanding the world and the universe around us. To put it in a nutshell, the vital characteristic of any scientific idea is not that it can be proven to be true but that it can, at least potentially, be shown to be false (which is not the case for all kinds of proposition).”

(Ian Tattersall, 2008: The World from Beginnings to 4000 BCE (New Oxford World History). Oxford University Press) - via http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com

Anonymous said...

@ eduardo

First of all Akasofu minds the fact that there must be a natural cause for the observed warming after the end of the LIA - at least at the beginning where you cannot blame GHG forcing for the increasing temperatures.

Second: If there is a (longer lasting) natural cause - the significance of GHG forcing would be concerned, showing a smaller effect than projected by the AGW proponents.

"However, in the future we have the purported solar trend plus the GHG forcing"

The actual solar trend is negative. So is the temperature trend since around 1998 until today.
Looking back the last 160 years, we observe an increasing concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere coupled with a modest warming trend of about 0.7/0.8 °C for the same era. We can also see different periods of warming and cooling in these last 160 years: 1910-1945 / 1975-1998.

If Akasofu is right and there is a natural cause for the observed warming (or a good part of it) climate sensitivity must be much lower than predicted.

Are we really certain not to be mixing up of cause and effect when observing climate variability?

Marco said...

Anonymous #43, the trend in solar forcing has been (very slightly) negative since the mid 1970s. And no, there is NO negative temperature trend since 1998. Unless you force your starting point to be the highest temperature in 1998 (which would be really, really, really bad scientific practice).

Hans von Storch said...

Das Interview ist nun fortgesetzt (und damit abgeschlossen) worden - siehe hier.

eduardo said...

@ 43

anonymous said
'Second: If there is a (longer lasting) natural cause - the significance of GHG forcing would be concerned, showing a smaller effect than projected by the AGW proponents.'

No, because the detection and attribution analysis already takes into account the existence of solar and other natural forcings.

'If Akasofu is right and there is a natural cause for the observed warming (or a good part of it) climate sensitivity must be much lower than predicted.'

I read Akasofu's paper:
"There have been a number of discussions of the tem-
perature during the LIA. It ranges from 0.5 C to 1.5 C
below the present temperature (see Lamb 1 1982;
Grove 2). If we take it to be 1.0 C mainly on the basis
of Figures 1a and 1b"

Then in section 4 'Possible solar causes' it is stated "Changes of the solar irradiance during the sunspot cy-
cle are rather small (1.3W/m2). However, the difference
between the LIA period and the present may be a few
times greater than 1.3W/m2 (Lean et al. 50)"


I look up Lean et al. 1995 and I found I value of 3 w/m2 of increase in solar irradiance from the LIA until today. As I explained in my previous comment this implies a climate sensitivity of 5 K under 2xCO2 concentrations.

The only way to obtain a lower climate sensitivity is to accept that in the warming from the LIA until today additional forcings have been at play in the past reinforcing the solar irradiance. But Akasofu ignores them for his predictions.

This is why the paper is inconsistent.

We have discussed this ussue before in the Klimazwiebel: if one accepts large forced climate variations in the past (high sensitivity), one has to logically accept large forced climate variations under GHG forcing in the future. The only way to wrigggle out of this conundrum is to assume that the large past climate variations are unforced (internal stochastic variations). But again, what is the mechanism ? Asakasfu, however, clearly states that they are forced.

eduardo said...

@ 40,
Günther said
'One guy says CO2 causes the warming, so he has to proof it. Another guy says, CO2 is not causing the warming, so he has to proof it.'

I would formulated it a bit differently: another guy sas that X (other than GHG) is causing all warming, so he has to explain by which mechanism and make predictions. And explain why the North Pole warms more rapidly and the South Pole less rapidly (or not at all) and why the stratosphere cools, etc, etc. In summary, explain all the evidence.

Note that I dont claim the GHG can explain all the evidence (although arguably it can explain a larger part). I say that we should require from any theory to do so. Equal burden for each theory.

eduardo said...

@ 40 namelos

in the link I posted to Andrew Revkin's blog the error was spotted and corrected. Yes, if you argue that too late and too clumsy, you would be right. There are many things that deserve improvement.

Now, this does not free alternative theories from the same burden of proof - which was the topic we were discussing, not the clumsiness of UNEP and IPCC officials.

When I ask a proponent of GHG what causes warming, he/she can at least give some physical plausible arguments. Would I ask a proponent of the 'natural cycles theories' what mechanisms may cause these cycles, I am afraid I would not get a very detailed answer. And by detail answer I mean in watts / m2, degrees of temperature and the like.

'Eduardo, so you suggest that in the hypothesis of (C)AGW ((Catastrophic) Antropogenic Global Warming) confirmation would be enough?'

could you please be more specific? what do you mean by 'confirmation' ?

Anonymous said...

@ eduardo

Syun Akasofu answers your post (December 18, 2010 11:27 PM) ...

"Please understand that the main point of my paper is that the IPCC is forgetting about the recovery from the Little Ice Age. It ended in about 1800-1850. However, the recovery is NOT step function-like. What I showed is that the recovery was continuous from 1800-1850 to the present.
I showed that the LIA was global, not just a phenomenon in Europe. In fact, I found several interesting data after the publication of my paper.

Therefore, the LIA and its recovery should be seriously considered in discussing the present warming.

We do not know the cause(s) of the LIA and its recovery. The only thing I could find is that the solar activity was relatively low during the LIA and began to recover in about 1800.

I am wondering if 0.1 or 0.2 % of solar irradiance, if it lasts for SEVERAL CENTURIES (as I stated), might affect the Earth's climate. If the GCMs cannot explain the LIA, I think we can say that there are many processes we do not know.

Please send this to Prof. Hans von Storch"

Syun

eduardo said...

Dear Syun,
thank you for your answer. Just a short comment because I am on the move.
Climate models can and do simulate the LIA. You may look into some of our papers.

This is one of the first, as far as I know, dated in 2004:
Eduardo Zorita, Hans von Storch, Fidel González-Rouco, Ulrich Cubasch, Jürg Luterbacher, Stephanie Legutke, Irene Fischer-Bruns and Ulrich Schles e. Climate evolution in the last five centuries simulated by an atmosphere- ocean model: global temperatures, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the Late M aunder Minimum. Meteorologische Zeitschrift 13, 271-289 (2004).

A longer simulation, also with a nice LIA and 'recovery' from LIA can be found here:
Storch, H. von, E. Zorita, J. M. Jones, Y. Dmitriev. F. González and S. F. B. Tett. Reconstructing past climate from noisy data. Science 306, 679-682 (2004).

If one continues this simulation into the future with the B2 IPCC scenario you get the figure shown in one previous blog

I would be also curious if you could comment in one of my previous questions. Is it correct that a temperature difference between the LIA and today of 1 K attributed totally to 0.25% change in solar irradiance implies a climate sensitivity of about 5 K ? Thank you

Anonymous said...

@ eduardo

I wrote Syun to post his own comments here on this blog and I hope he will find time to participate.

Meanwhile ...

http://www.co2science.org/articles/V8/N7/EDIT.php

Anonymous said...

Eduardo, thank you for your reply and reasonable demand (#49).

I didn't address the issue of Revkin's blog (#39) in my reply directly (#40). Your answer (#35)...

      "Even the IPCC wrote in its last report something.. like human activities are very likely part of the cause of observed late 20th century warming. It didnt write 'inequivocally demonstrated' for instance."

...was exciting for me (Is there evidence for a confirmation bias in the consortium of public-law broadcasting institutions of the Federal Republic of Germany? (#42...))

In #21 you wrote to someone else (my emphasis):

      "[...] [I]t is not enough to claim that the observed increase in global temperature is just part of a natural cycle or a 'recovery of the Little Ice Age'. This are not scientific falsifiable explanations."

In #22 I just wanted to know in general:

      "Do you suggest that there must be falsifiable explanations?"

You answered (#27):

      "[A] scientific hypothesis must provide predictions that in turn should be confirmed or falsified".

In #34 I asked in return:

      "Do you mean by "confirmed or falsified": confirmation is enough?"

You answered in #35 my question about falsifiability; you considered AGW with respect to any criteria of falsifiability and you expressed your opinion that we are not able yet in a strict sense to falsify anthropogenic climate change.

Simply put, if the answer to the question in #37 you refer to in #49 could read:

      Yes (a hypothesis which is "confirmed" in a "strict sense" is scientifically sufficient).(?)

My next question would be: Are there any reasons to be worried about a hypothesis which is "confirmed" in a "strict sense" and which seems to be for certain scientists and most major media sufficient for "The Ultimate Revolution", a kind of (global) "scientific dictatorship" (Aldous Huxley: "The Ultimate Revolution" (UC Berkeley, 1962)) (in case of possible CAGW)?

---

A contextless musical interlude at Berkeley:

Huxley: "Well, it is getting a little warm, isn't it? It seems to be a completely windowless Hall, isn't it?"

Answer: "It is part of the conditioning process, actually."

namenlos

eduardo said...

@54
dear namenlos,

for some reason the spam filter does not trust you. In most cases it is your comments that get stuck there ..

ok, let me clarify my position, perhaps I was not clear enough in the previous comments.

The AGW theory explains a number of observations, and thus reduces a a collection of observations to a single mechanism, and makes specific predictions for the future. The collections of observations would be , for instance, that the poles warm more than the tropics, that land warms more than oceans, that the stratosphere cools whiole the troposphere warms, and that the mid troposphere warms more than the surface. Also, AGW explains the form of the outgoing infrared spectrum, measured by satellites and the incoming infrared spectrum at the surface. Predictions about the future are clearly that global temperatures should warm at long time scales. Now we can discuss or disagree whether all explanations are correct, or whether they are specific to the AGW theory , i.e. no other theory like increase in solar irradiance provides them as well. Let us leave aside for the moment.
But what are the explanation power or predictive power of ' a recovery from the Little Ice Age'?. It does not explain anything, it is hazy, it does not involve any physical mechanism, does not make predictions (the recovery could continue or stop). In summary, I claim that the 'recovery theory' is much worse than when alarmist claim that it will snow in the future, and when it does snow it can still be accommodated by an additional quirk within the theory.

As I wrote, there is, in my view, a permissible discussion about whether or not the AGW explains everything and provides accurate predictions. What I claim is that no other theory so far does it or even attempts to do. There may be some bits of alternative theories here and there, unconnected, but not substantive (yet)

Anonymous said...

@ eduardo

You write: "The AGW theory explains a number of observations ..."

A "theory"?
Shouldn't we talk about a hypothesis - which makes quite a difference, doesn't it?

"But what are the explanation power or predictive power of ' a recovery from the Little Ice Age'?"

Let's keep the LIA in the background for a while and have a look at another interesting period ...

In the year 536 temperatures were falling by 3 °C in a very short time.

How to explain the recovery and the warmer temperatures in the following period (MWP)?

Precipitation, cleaning the air from vulcanic dust and H2SO4 would not sufficiently explain the temperature recovery and the temperature peak during the MWP.
There must have been a warming source which did even better than just recover what went lost around 536.
The IPCC's "main culprit" CO2? I doubt it.

http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/natur/0,1518,735253,00.html

Anonymous said...

Eduardo, you wrote (#54): "for some reason the spam filter does not trust you. In most cases it is your comments that get stuck there .."

I think I can reassure you all. This filter is not a personal "trust" issue such as in some cases the current "peer to peer review" gatekeeping process. There seems to be a very rational explanation: This filter should be simply because I -- unlike most others -- use often a lot of web links in my comments here which cause blogger.com to send them into moderation.

I did not question the LIA or natural cycles, did I?

You wrote rejectable: "This are not scientific falsifiable explanations (#21)." Does falsifiability matter if a "theory" (hmm, may be rather a lot of hypotheses (cf. #55 (cf. my contributions here))) "explain a number of observations"? Or do we need falsifiability in this case? Will we be able to falsify (C)AGW soon/ever? Brave New World?

namenlos

Anonymous said...

@ eduardo

Syun (by e-mail):

"Thank you for giving an opportunity to discuss global warming issues.
Please send the following message to Prof. von Storch.

I am glad that the temperature change from about 1800 obtained by his group shows a sharp increase, and further the increase to the present is approximately linear (as I emphasized in my paper; I have my interpretation on a sharper increase in the last part as I explained in my paper).

I am very interested to know the main driving force for the increase from 1800. I am also interested to know if his group predicted the halting of the increase after 2000 on the basis of their model.

Syun"

Anonymous said...

We get right in the middle of the debate.

There is a good reason why many climatists supporting the AGW-hypothesis have their problems with the LIA, either calling it a regional phenomenon (which it was clearly not) or then treating it as an issue of little importance.

Why? The answer is simple. If the LIA was an event of earth-wide concern, extending its effects around the globe - how did the temperatures recover after this era? What made them increase - before human imissions of GHGs, especially CO2, played a measurable role in the game?
And - next question - what makes us believe that the cause or the source oft this observed warming should have disappeared when human GHG-imissions started to increase?
In other words, what could support the idea, that the observed warming in the last 160 years has to be blamed the more or less to human GHG-imissions only?
And - if you say “the detection and attribution analysis already takes into account the existence of solar and other natural forcings”, allow me to ask you how much of these natural forcings are exactly taken in account? Where is the book keeping? Who are the book keepers?

Lots of questions. The LIA-period and its recovery seem to be an unconvenient stumbling block for the AGW-proponents or kind of a battle field of dogmatic believe or denial.

That’s why I proposed (post 55) to have a look on a different period which showed an even more remarkable recovery from lower temperatures. Long before James Watt started his first steam engine.

eduardo said...

@57, 58

The existence of a global LIA does not represent a especial problems for climate models. Please, if you have time read again our previous posts. The LIA is caused, in this simulations by a dimished solar activity compared to the following centuries. In other words, solar activity has increased since around 1700. There is uncertainty about how much, in terms of watts/m2, and this uncertainty allows us to choose a range of values to drive the climate model and produce a nice LIA. Why this factor, solar irradiance, cannot be invoked to explain the warming of the last 30 years ? because in those 30 years solar activity can be directly measured. There is still a debate in the interpretation of the satellite measurements, but even in the most 'favourable case' (the interpretation offered by Scafeta and West), solar activity cannot explain the observed warming of the last 3 decades.

Now, let us assume that based on other evidence, we could conclude that a LIA if a cooling of about 1 degree globally relative to the 20th century mean, could not have been caused by the external factors such as a low solar activity or increase volcanism, in that case this would represent a very serious problem for climate models, because they do not produce climate variability of this magnitude if the external factors are not changed. So a critical question is if the LIA was forced or unforced (caused by internal processes).

'I am also interested to know if his group predicted the halting of the increase after 2000 on the basis of their model.'

Since the halting of the increase after 2000 cannot be attributed to external factors, it cannot be predicted. But one can test weather one can find in climate simulations for the 21st century decades with zero trend in the global mean temperature. The answer is it is possible, although 15-20 years with zero trend of global temperatures, barring big volcanic eruptions or a sharp decrease in solar irradiance, would probably falsify climate model predictions

'allow me to ask you how much of these natural forcings are exactly taken in account?'
well, this is one of the most distributed pieces of information in climate research . Please, go to the IPCC report Working Group 1, Technical summary, and amid more interesting information that one should read even if one disagrees with it, you can find the estimated changes in climate forcings since preindustrial time

Anonymous said...

Dear Eduardo,

You write:

"And explain why the North Pole warms more rapidly and the South Pole less rapidly (or not at all) and why the stratosphere cools, etc, etc."

As far as I know, there has been no stratospheric cooling since +/- 1998.

Many climate activists and scientists told me that the stratospheric cooling was the ultimate proof for the "Treibhauseffekt".

Reading the graphics I think that if this was true, we would have seen a linear stratospheric cooling during the last 12 years.

And this is not the only inconsistenty. Climate models explain us that the oceans warm with some delay. Why is this not true for a warming by the sun?

If the MWP had been as warm as today, Mr Akasofu would be right to say that the climate could have returned to its normal state. Do we really know what this state looks like?

Just saying that we don't really understand everything about climate change ist not less scientific than pretending that we already know everything.

For a lay man it may be true that thousands of climate scientists can't make such big mistakes. But the past tells us that similar mistakes were made before.

I think that we understand what you try to explain, but there are still some doubts. Sometimes science moves on so fast that lay men can't follow, and they only understand later how precise our knowledge was already some decades ago. We can't really understand how good climate models can replicate the real world.

Best regards
Yeph

Anonymous said...

@ eduardo

Answering my question "allow me to ask you how much of these natural forcings are exactly taken in account?'

... you say: "well, this is one of the most distributed pieces of information in climate research . Please, go to the IPCC report Working Group 1, Technical summary, and amid more interesting information that one should read even if one disagrees with it, you can find the estimated changes in climate forcings since preindustrial time"

"that one should read ..." I agree with you - vice versa - expecting you to read not only the AR4-report. Or as Syun pointed out in our last e-mail exchange: "It seems that the term "LIA" is a tabooed word among IPCC people after their "hockey-stick" result was published. In their earlist report, however, both the Medieval Warm period and the LIA were mentioned, as well as a warm period soon after the recovery from the last Big Ice Age. In their 2007 report, it was mentioned only once-- "so-called 'LIA'". The Climategate e-mail contains their effort to eliminate the Medieval Warm period, because it could have been warmer than the present"

You say: "In other words, solar activity has increased since around 1700. There is uncertainty about how much, in terms of watts/m2"

Here's a new study shedding light on the TSI of the past 400 years:

http://www.mps.mpg.de/projects/sun-climate/papers/uvmm-2col.pdf

The authors estimate the total of solar irradiance to increase by about 1.25 W/m2 since the Maunder minimum (which would lead to an approximate global temperature increase of 0.44 °C in the last 160 years).

Krivova et al. :"Averaged over 11 years, Ly- irradiance (the high energetic ultraviolet region of the solar spectrum) has increased by almost 50% since the end of the Maunder minimum"

eduardo said...

@ 61

Of course, we have to read not only the IPCC, but other sources as well, critically. I wrote, or I meant, ' to read' and not 'to uncritically accept'. Not everything in the IPCC reports is pico-bello, but it is an important source of information, especially the report by Working Group 1, where the information has not been distilled for the subsequents summaries.

You mention the work by Krivova et al. Well, you may be surprised that this work is touted precisely by the hockey-stick supporters (just to find a neutral denomination). The reason has been discussed in the Klimazwiebel before, and it is that this reconstruction is the one with the smallest change of solar irradiance between the LIA and today. It is even a smaller number than the one suggested by Askasafu. If you accept Krivova's reconstructions of solar change and also assume, as I surmise you would do, that all temperature change (0.44K) between the LIA and present is caused by solar irradiance., you end up with a very high climate sensitivity:

1.25 w/m2 of solar irradiance means 0.31 w/m2 of solar forcing (taking into account the night hemisphere and that solar energy at high latitudes impinges at an unsuitable angle on the surface)

The climate sensitivity in terms of degrees per w/m2 would be then 0.44/0.31 = 1.41 K per w/m2.

For a doubling of atmospheric CO2 this translates to 1.41 x 3.7 = 5.25 K

One can also see it intuitively: if 0.44 K of change have been caused by such a small change in solar forcing as in Krivova et al, the climate sensitivity must be high.

I think you should face it: large temperatures changes imply large climate sensitivity if these changes have been externally forced.

eduardo said...

@ 60

Dear Yelph,

as far as I know, stratosphere cooling as not stopped. This is the abstract of a recent paper on this topic

Contributions of Stratospheric Water Vapor to Decadal Changes in the
Rate of Global Warming
Susan Solomon,1 Karen H. Rosenlof,1 Robert W. Portmann,1 John S. Daniel,1 Sean M. Davis,1,2
Todd J. Sanford,1,2 Gian-Kasper Plattner3
Stratospheric water vapor concentrations decreased by about 10% after the year 2000. Here we
show that this acted to slow the rate of increase in global surface temperature over 2000–2009 by
about 25% compared to that which would have occurred due only to carbon dioxide and other
greenhouse gases. More limited data suggest that stratospheric water vapor probably increased
between 1980 and 2000, which would have enhanced the decadal rate of surface warming during
the 1990s by about 30% as compared to estimates neglecting this change. These findings show
that stratospheric water vapor is an important driver of decadal global surface climate change.


The rate of increase has slowed, but not reversed. Anyway, what would be the reason of stratospheric cooling during the whole satellite era ?

Warming by the sun would also be delayed. Climate models driven by solar irradiance include this effect in exactly the same way as for CO2


'Just saying that we don't really understand everything about climate change ist not less scientific than pretending that we already know everything.'

To say that we know everything would be of course wrong. But this is not my argument. My argument is that to claim that some observations are caused by some hidden, unknown effects, is not scientific. I could claim that objects fall towards the centre of the Earth because it is their natural state. Who could contradict me ?
There is no 'natural' state of things. All observations should be explained by known mechanisms. To claim that the climate is warming because it is its natural state, is not in my opinion a scientific statement.

Alles Gute zum Neuen Jahr

Anonymous said...

Dear Eduardo,

Thank you Very much for your fast reply.

It is true that it is not very scientific being sceptic without explaining why.

But, I think that climate science often tries to rebut sceptic thoughts very quickly and that this is not very scientific too.

Now you tell me about these findings about the stratospheric "cooling". This is very interesting.

What makes me sceptic are the fights about the tropospheric cooling after 1950. Many reasons for this cooling have been put forward but all of them included the "anthropogenic warming factor".

Speaking about natural cycles was not accepted. I think that today natural cycles are part of the climate models. But, still we can never explain natural climate shifts before they happen. Only afterwards we have an exact analysis of all the forcings. Doesn't this imply that there is a bias in every climate model or climate explanation towards "we are killing the climate"?

Asking questions about natural climate cycles or the natural state of the climate could beware scientists from biasing their explanations and findings?

I admit that I am also sceptic about these (my own) sceptic thoughts and that it may just as well be that climate science IS already an exact science and that all these thoughts have already been refuted.

But, when I read about the bias in medical science I wonder if this could not be the case in climate science. I've read that too many climate scientists and physicists have confirmed the anthropogenic warming.

One thing still bothers me very much about the role of Co2 in climate shifts. Co2 seems to lag behind the warming or cooling. If Co2 is the number one warming factor, how could a cooling ever occur BEFORE the Co2 was reduced? If there are natural cooling cycles that exist, how do they work and why shouldn't they work today? All other forcing factors seem to be negligible compared to Co2? Has this ever been explained?

Thank you very much again und ihnen und Herr Von Storch auch einen guten Rutsch, wie auch allen anderen. ;-)

Yeph