Sunday, December 25, 2011

What do you think about the effort of assessing Arnell's assumptions?

Further down, I ran a little experiment, under the headline Extended peer review: Assumptions in Arnell's article. This was a special thread, with comments exclusively dealing with -as the title explained- assumptions employed by Arnell (not conclusions drawn by Arnell, conclusions drawn by other writers including journalists).  Unrelated comments were considered off-topic, and were deleted. The purpose was to find out if "we" are able to do some constructive discussions beyond the always-present question, of which group is right or evil. This effort draw quite a bit of flak, and therefore this thread is offered to allow for comments on all facets of this article, AfricaGate, the journalist Meichsner and my possible bias.



Apropos my own opinions: it happens regularly that somebody is asking in a comment for my opinions. I hope you understand that I normally do not answer, because I do not consider my opinions too interesting; and sometimes I simply do not have the time. But if a reader, possibly together with others, wants to do an interview (by e-mail) with me to be published on the Klimazwiebel, that would be fine with me.

Hans von Storch

148 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ich habe die Teilnahme verweigert, weil ich denke, man hat das Thema verfehlt. Es ist ja nicht so, dass die Idee zum "extended-peer-review" aufkam, weil man mal an einem x-beliebigen Beispiel die Qualität der IPCC-Berichte prüfen wollte, es gab eine Vorgeschichte.

Es mag ja durchaus Gründe geben, dass manche mit der Öffentlichkeitsarbeit Rahmstorfs unzufrieden sind und das Urteil des Kölner Landgerichts daher mit innerem Wohlgefallen und ich sage bewusst Schadenfreude aufgenommen haben.
Und obwohl die Klimazwiebel zur angeblichen "Versachlichung" dieser Debatte sogar das Urteil veröffentlicht hat, hat sie zur Versachlichung ansonsten nichts beigetragen, im Gegenteil.

Nüchtern betrachtet gibt das Urteil wenig her, im Grunde nur, dass man als Blogger vorsichtig formulieren muss, statt "kritiklos abschreiben" sollte zukünftig überall besser von "kritiklos nachbeten, nachplappern oder übernehmen" die Rede sein. Ein Dank an das Kölner Landgericht für das Ziehen solch klarer semantischer Grenzen.

Wie gesagt, im Grunde ging es um eine Abrechnung mit Rahmstorfs Öffentlichkeitsarbeit, doch wenn man das Beispiel Meichsner exemplarisch heranzieht, dann sollte man sich schon damit beschäftigen, ob die Vorwürfe Rahmstorf an Meichsner korrekt waren. Und insbesondere beim Punkt des "kritiklos abschreibens", der zur Verurteilung geführt hat, stellt man fest, dass Rahmstorf sachlich recht hatte, siehe z.B.
http://www.scilogs.de/wblogs/gallery/42/artikelvergleich.pdf
http://www.scilogs.de/wblogs/blog/sprachlog/sprachgebrauch/2011-12-16/kritiklos-abgeschrieben
http://www.scilogs.de/wblogs/blog/relativ-einfach/wissenschaft-medien/2011-12-08/rahmstorf-im-zerrspiegel

Das Interesse am Studium von Arnell 2004 kam von denjenigen auf, die meinten, ein nachträgliches Auffinden irgendwelcher Fehler könne Meichsner, North, Leak und "africagate" nachträglich rehabilitieren.

Zur Erinnerung:
Meichsner behauptet durch Übernahme von North und Leake, das IPCC hätte Zahlen im Afrikabericht ohne Belege übernommen, eine Spur führe zu Agoumi, der nebenbei noch in den anscheinend dubiosen Zertifikatehandel verwickelt ist. Rahmstorf verwies darauf, dass bei etwas Recherche Meichsner hätte bemerken müssen, dass eine andere Quelle für die beanstandeten Zahlen referenziert wurde, nämlich Arnell 2004. Diese fundamentale Kritik ist natürlich völlig unabhängig von der Qualität des Papers einfach richtig.

Das, was jetzt hier unter extended peer review gepriesen wird, ist doch genau das, was ein verantwortungsbewusster Journalist getan hätte, wenn er die Vorwürfe Leakes und Norths geprüft hätte. Meichsner hat ohne Prüfung z.B. den Begriff "africagate" übernommen, und ohne Prüfung und Belege Personen wie Pachauri mit einem angeblichen Skandal (huch, sogar noch mehr, ein "gate"!) in Verbindung gebracht. Und ich soll mich jetzt daran beteiligen, auf den Spuren Norths und Leaks die Arbeit dieses Mal qualitativ besser zu machen?? Guter Scherz.

Und noch etwas:
Wer wirklich versachlichen will, hätte vielleicht etwas stärker betonen sollen, um was es im Urteil nicht ging:
Es ging nicht um die Qualität von Rahmstorf besagtem Blogbeitrag und schon gar nicht um seine wissenschaftliche Arbeit, auch nicht um "africagate".

Fairness hätte geboten, auch mal den SPIEGEL-Artikel oder den Meichsner-Artikel kritisch unter die Lupe zu nehmen, leider hat man sich aufs Rahmstorf-bashing konzentriert. Wenn man etwas über unkollegiales Verhalten, Eifersüchteleien und Ruppigkeiten unter Klimaforschern erfahren möchte, dann braucht man keine climategate-Emails, dann genügt manchmal auch der Besuch der ein oder anderen Konferenz oder ein Besuch auf dem ein oder anderen Blog, hier jetzt auch mal die Klimazwiebel.

Weihnachtsgefühlsduseleien gibt's beim nächsten Kommentar, versprochen ;-)

Andreas

Hans von Storch said...

I experienced this differently - I had the impression that the Arnell paper was really important as argument for some - both pro and contra. Therefore I thought it useful to look at the paper whether it would provide a good basis for an assessment or not.
For avoiding discussing only the conclusions, which for some were a-priori either false or sacrosanct, I suggested to begin with the probably less controversial assumptions. The result of this effort could be both, that we consider the assumptions reasonable or unreasonable. Interestingly, some of the warmists seem to be convinced that the verdict would be negative. But I consider it plausible that our verdict will be - yes, these are reasonable assumptions, or the assumptions are consistent with the purpose and accuracy of the analysis. But for deciding this, we have first the determine which the assumptions are and then discussing them.

All this has nothing to do with Rahmstorf or Meichsner, but very much with us: are we able to discuss beyond our standard mind-sets?

Hans von Storch said...

Andreas,

"Fairness hätte geboten" - forderst Du "balanced reporting"? Das würde bedeuten, dass es zwei wohldefinierte Seiten gibt, denen beiden "Gerechtigkeit" zukommen sollte? Oder wie bei Loriot der Werbespot, wo noch 7 Sekunden für die SPD verbleiben, und darauf eine halbe für die CDU?

Und für wen ist es erforderlich, dass das Offensichtliche, nämlich, dass es nicht um Rahmstorf's Blogbeitrag etc geht, noch mal extra betont wird? Stefan Rahmstorf hat mit der Arnell-Arbeit nichts zu tun.

Und wenn so ein großes Interesse daran besteht, den Beitrag von Frau Meichsner zu de-konstruieren, warum eröffnet denn keiner dazu einen Thread? Gibt es Fälle, in denen wir hier auf der Klimazwiebel Meinungen nicht haben laut werden lassen, es sei denn die Netiquette wurde nicht beachtet?

Günter Heß said...

Lieber Herr von Storch,
leider hatte ich wenig Zeit, um mit den Annahmen weiterzumachen.
Ich finde das bisherige Ergebnis und die Kommentare aber sehr interessant.
Ich möchte deshalb in diesem „Faden“ zwei oder drei Gedanken los werden.
Ein befreundeter Unternehmensberater hat mir zu Beginn meiner Karriere folgenden Ratschlag gegeben:
„Verwechsele niemals die eigenen Hypothesen und Schlußfolgerungen mit der Problembeschreibung und der Beobachtung“
Ein sehr guter Rat, wie ich finde und im Tagesgeschäft oft erstaunlich schwer zu befolgen.
Angewandt auf „Peer-Review“ heißt das meines Erachtens, dass ein guter „Peer-Reviewer“ einen Artikel zunächst unabhängig vom Ergebnis und den Schlußfolgerungen begutachten muß. Er sollte meines Erachtens lediglich beurteilen, ob das Ergebnis methodisch sauber aus den dem Artikel zugrundeliegenden Annahmen und Daten gefolgert wurde. Ja der Author darf sogar seine eigene Meinung reinbringen, auch wenn sie nicht 100%ig von den Daten gedeckt wäre, so lange er sie als eigene Meinung kennzeichnet und nicht als zwingende Schlußfolgerung verkauft.
Ich fand deshalb ihr Herangehen mit den Annahmen sehr konsequent und richtig und finde es schade, dass die Resonanz so dünn ausfällt. Aber vielleicht liegt das an uns.
Ich hatte jedenfalls den Eindruck, dass sie in Hinblick auf ihre Aufgabe für den AR5 experimentieren wollten und hätte mich gefreut dabei mitzumachen.
Ich stelle jetz mal zwei Hypothesen in den Raum, die ich aus den zugegebenermaßen wenigen Kommentaren folgere:
1. „Peer-Review“ sollte nicht durch „Blog-Review“ ersetzt werden, weil es in der Blogszene nicht gelingt losgelöst vom Ergebnis zu diskutieren. Schon gar nicht inn der Klimadebatte.

2. Vermutlich muss man davon ausgehen, dass eine neutrale „Summary for Policymakers“ auch bei besten Willen und bester Absicht unmöglich ist.
Die 2. Hypothese scheint weit hergeholt, aber ich gebe zu bedenken, dass die üblichen Kommentatoren der Klimazwiebel ein durchaus hohes Niveau mitbringen. Zu mindestens schätze ich die Kollegen so ein.
Trotzdem bin ich optimistisch, dass wir gemeinsam in der Klimazwiebel lernen und der AR5 nicht zuletzt, aufgrund ihrer Erfahrung hier, besser wird als der AR4.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Günter Heß

Anonymous said...

Es gibt noch einen weiteren Grund, weshalb ich die Mitarbeit abgelehnt habe, ein ganz einfacher:

Ich bin kein Experte.

Die Annahmen herauszuarbeiten, ist das eine. Zu beurteilen, inwieweit diese Annahmen sinnvoll sind oder nicht, ob diese Annahmen von weiterer wiss. Literatur zu diesem Thema gedeckt werden, kann ich nicht, mir fehlt das Überblickswissen. Seit 2004 ist viel Schmelzwasser den Gletscher runtergelaufen: Sind Annahmen und Aussagen von Arnell von jüngeren Forschungen bestätigt oder in Teilen widerlegt worden?

Schon 2007 wird Arnell nicht das einzige Paper zu diesem speziellen Thema gewesen sein. Die Autoren des AR4 haben die Auswahl dann gut getroffen, wenn Arnell 2004 als guter Stellvertreter des gesamten Forschung dazu dienen kann und keine Außenseitermeinung vertritt.

In aller Kürze:
Ich zweifle daran, dass Laien wie wir einfach mal so eben erfolgreich IPCC-Reviewer spielen können. Missverständnisse sind vorprogrammiert, und ich hoffe mal stark, dass es bei North, Leake und Meichsner nur Missverständnisse waren.

Andreas

Hans von Storch said...

Andreas/5,

sorry, a bit lengthy. In two parts.

Part I

I had not expected Klimazwiebel readers acting as a "IPCC reviewers", and I do not think that I have asked people to do so. I had only asked to find out on which basis of assumptions the paper of Arnell would be based. Instead I explicitly said somewhere on the Zwiebel that I would expect Arnell's conclusions to be ok - given the knowledge of the time of writing the paper - so that using it as evidence in the IPCC-AR4-process was legitimate.

The issue is also not if newer results have validated or falsified the results of the 2004-paper - but only if we here at the Zwiebel would be able to jointly read a scientific manuscript, which has been assessed very differently by readers. Would we be able to find out why we disagree on the manuscript?

There are several ways of how to disagree - one is not liking the conclusions, because one feels or "knowns" them to be wrong; another is considering the assumptions implausible, or of course the applied logic being flawed (given the assumptions). Seen from a scientific viewpoint, the critique must be of the 2nd or 3rd type, where I would -at least in this case- exclude #3. The peer review process was done ok, as far as I can say.

Therefore, the assumptions, without looking at the conclusions drawn in the remainder of the manuscript, are what I was after. The assumptions represent a set of plausibility statements. They do not represents indisputable facts - such as that it will light again tomorrow morning - otherwise they would not be assumptions. Plausibility implies "expert" knowledge about which effect is first order (mandatorily included in the analysis) and which 2nd or higher order (can be neglected), about which degree of simplification is adequate etc. Of course people with different world views will accept different plausibilities, and a lot of the (antagonistic) dispute has to do with the acceptance of such plausibilities.

Therefore I suggested to look after the assumptions (not as an experiment for my little contribution to IPCC AR5; but as a kind of continuation of Ravetz' experiment, whether he could initiate "talks about talks(about talks)" in Lisboa last January) and only at the assumptions. Now you said, you did not participate because you are not an expert. This brings us to the core of our problem.

I assume that you have no problems with reading the language; also the terminology used by Arnell is not overly complicated; his writing is clear and mostly accurate; thus accessing the manuscript is not a real problem. [Less educated people than you (here, I make an assumption about you, as I do not know you) would have such technical problems.] You could certainly find out which assumptions Arnell is making, and whether you find them plausible. Of course there may be additional arguments supporting the plausibility and others which contradict the plausibility, and you would not know them.

Part II is in the next comment.

Hans von Storch said...

Part II of a response to Andreas/5. Part I was the previous comment:

But you decide not to join "because you are not an expert". You rely on others, on experts. Immediately the questions arises - who are valid experts?

In my files there is one scientific analysis on this: Peters, H.-P. and H. Heinrichs, 2005: Öffentliche Kommunikation über Klimawandel und Sturmflutrisiken. Bedeutungskonstruktion durch Experten, Journalisten und Bürger. Schriften des Forschungszentrums Jülich, Reihe Umwelt/Environment 58, ISBN 3-89336-415-3, 221 pp. (Don't worry, the expert issue is dealt with only in one chapter, you do not need to read 221 pages.) There is much more scholarly work on this topic.

Becoming an expert is a social construction process. A matter of power, of having the authority of explaining lay people primarily "what is correct and incorrect?" but not only in post-normal situations also "what is right and wrong?". Why do you think I am an "expert" (maybe you do)? Do you consider Fred Singer an "expert" (his Wikipedia listing mentions "first director of meteorological satellite services for the [US] National Weather Satellite Center")? Why am I an expert but not Singer (I presume that some see it this way). How would you decide this? Why do others consider Singer an expert and me not? What is the dynamics of expertogenesis?

A key element of becoming an expert has something to do with the consistency of the Zeitgeist (which may include the need for some opposition to the Zeitgeist, which is part of the Zeitgeist itself :-)). An expert should provide guidance, answers - in the end answers, people like to accept. [A British scientist, explaining Brits that Germans have humor, can not be an expert, because all know this claim is ridiculous. A scientist who explains Germans have not, is obviously right and thus an expert.]. But the Zeitgeist is changing in the course of time - maybe Fred Singer was considered an expert, when he was congratulated by president Eisenhower in 1958?

The question which remains is - how do we deal with this post-normal situation, when we are confronted with making up our minds, with voting for options in a democratic system? Should we delegate our right of taking decisions to "experts" (which is different to electing for representatives, because they have to account for their "acting for us", Experts hardly do that.)

All this is talking about talks.

MH said...

I think that the effort of assessing Arnell's assumptions was worthwhile and I find the idea of 'constructive discussions beyond the always-present question' highly appealing. The blogs on climate science that I have visited the last two years are too political and polemical for me and the postings that are about scientific topics are often only loosely related. I find the idea of a structured collaborative project such as the extended peer review proposed here very attractive. Such a project should satisfy at least the following conditions:

1) It should be clear from the beginning that participation is worthwhile,

2) It should be easy for latecomers to catch up,

3) The project should proceed along well defined steps,

4) If possible the steps should be such that a detailed knowledge about the subject is not required from the outset but can be acquired during the process. For example, to find the assumptions in the Arnell paper a complete understanding of the paper is probably not necessary. A linguistic analysis revealing the structure of the argument may be sufficient.

5) Something should gradually emerge from the 'constructive discussions' and this something should be visible to all participants, that is, it should be supra-individual. The end result should be more than the sum of the individual postings, comments, observations etc...

MH said...

I think that the effort of assessing Arnell's assumptions was worthwhile and I find the idea of 'constructive discussions beyond the always-present question' highly appealing. The blogs on climate science that I have visited the last two years are too political and polemical for me and the postings that are about scientific topics are often only loosely related. I find the idea of a structured collaborative project such as the extended peer review proposed here very attractive. Such a project should satisfy at least the following conditions:

1) It should be clear from the beginning that participation is worthwhile,

2) It should be easy for latecomers to catch up,

3) The project should proceed along well defined steps,

4) If possible the steps should be such that a detailed knowledge about the subject is not required from the outset but can be acquired during the process. For example, to find the assumptions in the Arnell paper a complete understanding of the paper is probably not necessary. A linguistic analysis revealing the structure of the argument may be sufficient.

5) Something should gradually emerge from the 'constructive discussions' and this something should be visible to all participants, that is, it should be supra-individual. The end result should be more than the sum of the individual postings, comments, observations etc...

Rob Dekker said...

Response to "What do you think about the effort of assessing Arnell's assumptions", part one :

Let me start with an apology for the tone in my posts on the "Extended peer review" thread. I noticed that you deleted all of them, and I will not bother to repost them here, since I think the main point I wanted to make can be summarized differently here, and in better compliance with any (implicit or explicit) netiquette rules.

Also, my German is a bit rusty, so I may not catch the subtleties in some of the comments you and others make on your blog, so please forgive me if some of what I say has been covered already and/or commented on elsewhere.

In the thread "extended peer review", you ask us to investigate the 'assumptions' made by Arnell 2004 in the context of "AfricaGate" and Meischner's article as well as Rahmstorf's response to that article and the subsequent libel suit that Meischner filed against Rahmstorf.

Now, the AfricaGate myth did not start with Meischner. Before her, there was Leake (in Feb 2010) and North (Jan 2010), Pielke, tax-exempt "public policy think-tanks" such as the CATO institute and the CEI, all of the self-respecting 'contrarian' blog sites as well as the 5 lawsuits filed against the EPA in 2010, on which the (fossil industry funded) law firm Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF) spend close to $5 million in 2010 alone, on behalf of the CEI, Peabody Energy and the Ohio Coal Institute.

All of these attacks have been investigated, and found to reside in a misinterpretations and outright false claims. The EPA's response to SLF's allegations are particularly detailed :
http://epa.gov/climatechange/endangerment/petitions/volume2.html#2-12

The basis of these attacks (at least for the Africa section of the AR4) comes back to allegations about two scientific publications : Arnell 2004 and Agoumi 2003 (fist one peer-reviewed, the other not). Of course, in science, if there are any issues with the science of a scientific publication, then the way to deal with that is to publish a scientific paper which shows different results, and shows why these results differ from the prior studies (different assumptions or different methods, or simply different data).

But note that NEITHER of these two papers, both out for more than 6 years, have been contested in scientific literature.

Nonetheless, BOTH these papers have been attached (either directly or indirectly via the IPCC's use of them) on countless 'contrarian' blogs and in the EPA lawsuits and in newspapers and (Fox News) TV networks. Each one repeating the same "AfricaGate" mime that has been spinned and re-spinned and then had to be (and was) debunked over and over again, ad nauseam.

Rob Dekker said...

Response to "What do you think about the effort of assessing Arnell's assumptions", part two :

So, after all this, Meischner brings up this exact same debunked mimes again, this time amplifying and spinning it a bit more, calling it a "scandal" and venting allegations against the president of the IPCC personally of "glaring errors of his organization" and even though allegations against Pachauri have been refuted by KPMG, Meischner continue to claim that this scandal is "in a different league altogether" because this time Pachauri was "personally involved".

Since Meischner did not bring up ANY new evidence (let alone scientific evidence) to support the already debunked existing mimes, her publication is simply more evidence of the truth in Potholer's first law :

Myths are created much faster than they can be debunked

It's another indication that there are journalists who continue to mislead the public by spinning cherry-picked stories even though their sources have been shown to have no basis in fact or reality.

The same cherry-picking happened with the Soon and Baliunas paper which was cited by Senator Inhofe (as the only scientific paper AFAIK) as proof that global warming is the "greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people", an opinion now shared by the majority of conservative voters here in the US.

Of course, Inhofe cherry-picked one paper that concluded what he wanted to hear, and discarded 18,000 scientific publications the IPCC referenced, just like the current AfricaGate myth creators are doing.

By the way, Dr von Storch, I have the greatest admiration for you that you stood up for the truth and for science that Soon and Baliunas 2003 had significant scientific flaws, and that the peer-review process failed in this case.

This is why I was so surprised that you were focusing on the "assumptions made" in Arnell 2004. It seems to me that you are ignoring the 600 pound gorilla in the room : the "assumptions made" by the people who bring the scientific message to the general public. The Meischner's the Leake's the North's and Pielke's, the CATO institute, the CEI and the SLF, all who which promote the same myth and mimes that have already been scientifically debunked ad nauseam.

Reiner Grundmann said...

Rob Dekker 9

"But note that NEITHER of these two papers, both out for more than 6 years, have been contested in scientific literature."

You still miss the point of this exercise which Hans initiated. Are you saying that because no one tried to contest the paper in peer reviewed publications the debate is now over??

I just wonder what drives you (and Andreas) to repeat your objections (time and again) to discuss the Arnell paper here on this blog?

Anonymous said...

@ R. Grundmann

I have no objections at all that OTHERS discuss the assumptions of Arnell 2004. Maybe it would be better if Prof. von Storch had chosen another example, let's say a paper about forcasts for australia, avoiding so the impending Rahmstorf-Meichsner- or "africagate"-theme.

Having followed the discussion in which the desire to examine Arnell 2004 arose, I've some doubts, if it's just an exercise for all.
What about your motivation of studying Arnell's assumptions? What do you hope, what do you expect? I recognized a lot of interest in the discussion of Arnell 2004, on the other hand little interest in examining Meichsners article. Did she really just repeat North and Leak?

In my view the examination of Arnell 2004 is just another attempt to miss the important implications of the Rahmstorf-Meichsner-case. If we are interested in discussions about communication, the articles of Meichser, North and Leake give wonderful examples about what can go wrong.


Andreas

MH said...

@Rob Dekker

'and discarded 18,000 scientific publications'

It is statements like this one that turn me into a sceptic. How many of these 18,000 publications have to do with global warming? The second volume of the IPCC report contains many references to economic publications that must support the many statements that third world countries are very poor and are thus very vulnerable to global warming. None of these publications however supports the global warming hypothesis.

I checked some 10 references in the second volume of the report and half of them were problematic. In one case a dramatic statement about some Latin American country was made with a reference to a non-peer-reviewed document of about 200 pages written in Spanish and without pagenumber indication. I scanned the complete document an found nothing that supported the dramatic statement. For me this is just a swindle. So much for the 18,000 publications.

Hans von Storch said...

MH - could you tell us, which the "problematic papers" were, and specifically, which the manuscript without page numbers is? Which claim was supposedly attributed by the IPCC to this/ese publication/s?

MH said...

@Hans von Storch

I stopped following the climate debate more than a year ago and I cleaned-up and archived everything relating to it. The degree of problematicity of the references differed. There was one reference to a paper about an African country to support a statement about an East-European country. Maybe a simple mistake.

The point of my comment to Rob Dekker is that comparing the 'cherry-picked one paper' with the 18,000 scientific publications is just silly. There are simple general arguments to show this, such as the one I gave in the first paragraph of my comment, and a detailed examination of the problematic references is just a waste of time.

I qualified the Spanish reference as a swindle which is a strong statement. So it may be usefull to delve a little deeper into this. I posted a comment about it on climategate.nl a few weeks after climategate broke out (if I remember well) but I never got any reactions. I will try to find back this reference on the condition that someone is willing to verify my statement (which implies scanning the whole Spanish document). I have no problem with mistakes. What angered me with the Spanish reference is that it is very easy to refer to a large document in a foreign language without specifying pagenumbers but very cumbersome to verify such a reference.

PS - Yesterday I posted a comment on your experiment. But apparently it ended up in the SPAM-directory. It saddens me that my constructive comment was withheld whereas my polemic comment got through (destiny I assume, not your fault). I include the comment hereafter. Maybe the constructive and polemic together get through. It is your experiment that renewed my interest in the climate debate. I would never have posted the polemic comment without it.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think that the effort of assessing Arnell's assumptions was worthwhile and I find the idea of 'constructive discussions beyond the always-present question' highly appealing. The blogs on climate science that I have visited the last two years are too political and polemical for me and the postings that are about scientific topics are often only loosely related. I find the idea of a structured collaborative project such as the extended peer review proposed here very attractive. Such a project should satisfy at least the following conditions:

1) It should be clear from the beginning that participation is worthwhile,

2) It should be easy for latecomers to catch up,

3) The project should proceed along well defined steps,

4) If possible the steps should be such that a detailed knowledge about the subject is not required from the outset but can be acquired during the process. For example, to find the assumptions in the Arnell paper a complete understanding of the paper is probably not necessary. A linguistic analysis revealing the structure of the argument may be sufficient.

5) Something should gradually emerge from the 'constructive discussions' and this something should be visible to all participants, that is, it should be supra-individual. The end result should be more than the sum of the individual postings, comments, observations etc...

Hans von Storch said...

MH, I failed to notice that there were actually 3 of your comments in the SPAM-box (please let me know next time, also by e-mail, if you like). This happens sometimes for reasons unknown to me.

MH said...

@Hans von Storch

The text concerning the Spanish reference that I posted on climategate.nl was, I think, the following. It is alas in Dutch but I hope it shows that my accusation is not just arbitrary. It is based on some time consuming research.

Part I

Chapter 13 section 13.4.3 p598: 'Vulnerability studies foresee the ongoing reductions in glaciers. A highly stressed condition is projected between 2015 and 2025 in the water availability in Colombia, affecting water supply and ecosytem functioning in the paramos (IDEAM, 2004), and very probably impacting on the availability of water supply for 60% of the population of Peru (Vasquez, 2004).'

Ik heb de referentie Vasquez nagetrokken. Het gaat over het volgende document:

Vasquez, O.C., 2004: El Fenomeno El Nino en Peru y Bolivia: Experiencias en Participacion Local. Memoria del Encuentro Binacional Experiencias de prevencion de desastres y manejo de emergencias ante el Fenomeno El Nino, Chiclayo, Peru. ITDG, 209 pp. (download hier).

Dit document bevat de verschillende bijdragen aan een tweejaarlijkse bijeenkomst over El Nino in Peru en Bolivia. De verschillende bijdragen zijn: pag. 1-11, 12-25, 26-38, 39-50, 51-59, 60-70, 71-90, 93-104, 105-111, 112-126, 127-138, 139-145, 147-156, 157-164, 165-167, 169-171, 173-184, 185-197, 198-209.

MH said...

@Hans von Storch

Part II

Het document gaat vooral over sociale aspecten zoals sensibilisering, opvang en hulpverlening. Over de 'availability of water supply for 60% of the population of Peru' wordt in dit document nergens gesproken. Projecties naar 2015 en verder worden er nergens gemaakt. Er is slechts een bijdrage die enigszins relevant is, namelijk deze op pag. 39-50, El Fenomeno El Nino: los Impactos en Peru y Bolivia. Op p43 worden voor 1982-1983 cijfers gegevens over het aantal door droogte getroffen burgers maar geen van die cijfers komt ook maar in de buurt van 60% (Bolivia 8, Ecuador 12, Peru 25 miljoen inwoners). Het totaal van 4,54 miljoen afectados (droogtes+overstromingen) is wel ongeveer 60% van de bevolking van Bolivia alleen.

De bewering 'and very probably impacting on the availability of water supply for 60% of the population of Peru' is wel spectaculair (60% van 25 miljoen = 15 miljoen mensen), maar blijkbaar nergens op gebaseerd. Daarbij wordt dan zonder nadere specificatie gerefereerd naar een document van 209 paginas in een vreemde taal. Tot nader order beschouw ik dit als puur bedrog.

MH said...

@Hans von Storch

I am prepared to translate the Dutch into English if there is anyone who is willing to scan the 209 pages of the Spanish document and verify my conclusions.

Rob Dekker said...

MH said Are you saying that because no one tried to contest the paper in peer reviewed publications the debate is now over??

I think you kind of hit the nail on the head here. Of course the debate is not over. Meischner shows that debate goes on and on no matter what the scientific literature reports. And thus, it does not matter if we investigate Arnell 2004 or not. Journalists will continue their smear campaigns no matter what scientific publications report.

Let me ask you another question. Does it matter to you at all that Arnell 2004 was not contested in any peer-reviewed (or non-peer-reviewed) scientific journal ? Does that fact affect your opinion on what is a truthful journalistic report based on facts and science and what is simply an opinion piece (guided by whatever motives) ?

Here is another way of looking at this : If Arnell 2004 was debated by journalists (maybe they questioned the use of GCMs in the study, or debated the variability in the estimates of the projections done by Arnell, or they questioned the use of GCMs for projections of precipitation in the future, or they questioned the granularity of the model, maybe then we could debate Arnell 2004. But the fact of the matter is that journalists like Meischner are not at all "debating" at that level. In fact, by stating "there is no scientific evidence" she completely denies the EXISTANCE of Arnell 2004. T

Only when Rahmstorf identified Arnell 2004 as the source of that scientific evidence is when this paper came into the picture. And we all know what happened after that.

Point is that there are journalists (like Meuschner) who are are 'debating' their opinion at a completely different level than scientists like Rahmstorf are. And I would hope that you could recognize that difference, rather than questioning if the 'debate' is over.

Rob Dekker said...

HM, regarding your statement on the "60% of the population of Peru", and that "De bewering (is)... nergens op gebaseerd", please check this report from the (Dutch) KNMI :
http://www.knmi.nl/research/ipcc/IAC/PBL_IPCCeng.pdf

Which states (about the section from the IPCC report your refer to) :

In this statement, taken from Section 13.4.3 of Chapter 13 (page 598, right column) we found that the references to UNMSM and Vasquez had been mixed up. The statement on the water supply in Peru is not supported by the Vásquez (2004) paper, but by UNMSM (2004). and the statement on hydro-electricity in the Mantaro river is supported by Vásquez (2004) (E2). This minor inaccuracy has no impact on the IPCC conclusions in the various Summaries for Policymakers.

Now, you are Dutch, so you should have at least have read this report. Is your attempt to ignore this report an honest mistake, or is it a deliberate attempt to create another "-gate" controversy, just like Leake, and North and Meischner did before you ?

Hans von Storch said...

Rob,
thanks for this helpful clarification.

Two comments on this: First, maybe you should look at your writing with a certain distance - and you will find that there is often a somewhat aggressive sound to it, which is entirely unnecessary. On the other hand, you are of course entirely welcome to voice your convictions, perceptions and beliefs, as long as you find it acceptable that others do as well.

The assertion "Now, you are Dutch, so you should have at least have read this report." is remarkable.

Second, it is good that PBL found this error and documented it. On the other side, you can not expect that the many documents are known to everybody. Instead it is a problem of the IPCC how to provide information about identified problems in the previous reports (about the knowledge at the time of the publication). Something like an official erratum.

Werner Krauss said...

@Rog ####

@Rob #21 and #####

Rob, the correct name is: Frau Meichsner, Irene Meichsner.
Just try: MEICHSNER.
It is not Meichner, Meischner, Meuschner, or whatever you try. Got it?

And now good luck with writing numbers correctly...

Rob Dekker said...

Werner, nice to meet you too.
Thanks. I'll be more careful spelling Frau Meichsner's name correctly.
Besides the spelling mistake(s), do you have anything of substance to add to the discussion ?

Dr. von Storch wrote On the other side, you can not expect that the many documents are known to everybody.

That is certainly true, but ESPECIALLY since not all documents are known by everyone, can't we expect people to FIRST investigate their own assumptions and ask questions BEFORE crying foul and venting extrapolating judgements about the entire IPCC report or the IPCC in general ?

MH (just like Meichsner and North and Leak before him) called out "swindle" and "bedrog" and discards the other 18,000 references in the IPCC report, before he knew the answer to his questions about his cherry-picked single reference.

In such cases, I take the liberty of being more firm (you call it 'agressive') when I debunk the myth.

In fact, MH's choice of the Peru statement makes me an instant 'skeptic' of 'skeptics' : MH, why did you pick the Peru statement ? Did you arbitrarily pick one of the 18,000 references ? Or did somebody else point you at this one, which you then uncritically duplicated ? In short : did you make an honest mistake, or is it a deliberate attempt to create another "-gate" controversy, just like Leake, and North and Meischner did before you ?

I would appreciate an answer to such questions, so that maybe at least once we can all understand how such myths get initiated, and who is involved in spreading them over the internet (and ultimately into newspaper stories).

About the "you are Dutch" remark, I admit that the remark was off-beat. I am Dutch myself, and I tend to think that the Dutch pride themselves having two feet on the ground, and get the facts checked instead of publicly venting extrapolated and unfounded judgement calls. Especially since in this case the answer was in a Dutch report (which I found after 1 minute on Google).

MH said...

@Rob Dekker December 29, 2011 12:11 PM

1) I posted the comment on the Vasquez reference on climategate.nl (search for Vasquez) on march 9th 2010, where the PBL commission, who had just started its enquiry, picked it up (where else?) and integrated it in its report. I am glad that the considerable time that I spent on this reference was not completely wasted. Anyhow, a reference to a 209 pages Spanish document without further details is highly dubious especially when the document consists of 19 different files.
On second thoughts, maybe they did verify the 18,000 references. After all, Dutchmen are known to be hard working people, as is manifest from their contributions to this blog.

2) When I republished the comment yesterday I did not know that the PBL commission had integrated my comment in its report and confirmed it. In fact, I did not know they had published a report at all and consequently I could not ignore it. If that's a mistake I can only say errare humanum est and hope that it's a honest mistake.

3) I'm not a Dutchman and the PBL report is in English. I don't see how the fact that I speak Dutch implies that I should have read a document published in another country and written in another language.

4) It is MH, not HM. In the preceding comment you write 'MH said Are you ...'. If there is another MH on this blog then I would like to know. Confusion may arrise.


@Rob Dekker December 30, 2011 12:11 AM

1) On this blog I wrote 'For me this is just a swindle' because that is how I felt. In the original comment (posted before the publication of the PBL report) I wrote 'Tot nader order beschouw ik dit als puur bedrog.' with two qualifications 1) 'beschouw ik', a personal interpretation, and 2) 'Tot nader order', that is until someone convinces me that I am wrong. When I meet a reference to a 209 pages Spanish document distributed over 19 files and without further details then my goodwilll is gone and 'I take the liberty of being more firm'.

2) The references that I examined were I think (this was almost two years ago) picked more or less randomly. The fact that the Vasquez reference contained no details will no doubt have played a role.

3) I have a razor sharp mind and I never duplicate uncritically. Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to create controversies. In the climate debate I am a non-entity. I like to stay anonymous because I am anonymous. If your ambition is to 'debunk' then I fear you are loosing your time with me.

4) I readily believe that the Dutch have their two feet on the ground. Which is why I think that your ancestors came from somewhere not far below the Dutch border. Your prose sounds familiar to me.

Rob Dekker said...

Hans vo Storch wrote Instead it is a problem of the IPCC how to provide information about identified problems in the previous reports (about the knowledge at the time of the publication). Something like an official erratum.

You mean something like this ?

http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/errataserrata-errata.html

Hans von Storch said...

Yes - now, the question is: Is the error (swapping of references) listed on that web-page?

Hans von Storch said...

MH/26 - sorry the comment was again rerouted into the Spam-folder.

Rob Dekker said...

After MH attempted to re-erect an already debunked story about Peru reference in the IPCC AR4, I did some background checking on our commenter MH. For one, I traced the comments he made on the Peru statement to his statements made here :

http://climategate.nl/2010/03/08/meldpunt-planbureau-dient-kritiekinflatie-ipcc/

Incidentally posted right AFTER the PBL presented their report (quoted above).

Apart from the Peru statement itself, our MH (who calls himself Peter Vanzande in the climategate.nl post) mentions the following interesting assertion :

Wg2 onderuit halen lijkt mij een stuk eenvoudiger dan Wg1

which reveals MH's intent with his posts at several levels.

I think we may have found ourselves a real 'spinner' in MH, right here on klimazwiebel...

I wonder if and how he answers my questions.

Rob Dekker said...

MH, I am sorry. I did not 'update' this post for a couple of hours, and thus missed your post where you admit an honest mistake. So, I would like to withdraw my attack on you, and hope that you accept my apology.

Incidentally, is your name really Peter Vanzande ?

Rob Dekker said...

Hans von Storch wrote now, the question is: Is the error (swapping of references) listed on that web-page?

Yes. It's right there :

page
598 Chapter 13 Column 2. Line 6. Delete “(Vasquez, 2004)” and replace with “(UNMSM, 2004)”.

598 Chapter 13 Column 2. Line 12. Delete “(UNMSM, 2004)” and replace with “(Vasquez, 2004)”.

Hans von Storch said...

Thanks, Rob.

Rob Dekker said...

Incidentally MH, if you will, just out of curiosity, could you please tell us what your intent was when you wrote :

Wg2 onderuit halen lijkt mij een stuk eenvoudiger dan Wg1

(freely translated as "to knock down WG2 seems a lot easier than WG1"). What made you think that WG2 had to be knocked down ?

Hans von Storch said...

MH's response had be placed in the spam-box - so Rob could not see it earlier; this happens every now and then.

I think this whole episode tells us a bit, namely that what seems obvious on first sight, is eventually explained in a rather different way. So far I understand: MH found the problem and informed on a blog, PBL took it up and solved the riddle, but nobody told MH. MH repeats the case here on the Zwiebel, Rob attacks MH using PBL and the IPCC erratum, and retracts his accusation after having learned some details.

May I ask the participants to stop ANY ATTACKING on this site. There are various sites, where one can enjoy attacking, and convince the faithful, but here, please let us operate always with the possibility in mind that it may actually be us ourselves, who are wrong. Let's first explore the different aspects, including assumptions :-), before we arrive at our individual conclusions.

Anonymous said...

@all

What does "africagate" mean exactly?

Is it this **by 2020, "in some countries of Africa yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50 percent".**?

Yeph

Anonymous said...

Africagate has been debunked? Over and over again?

I've heard an read sentences like the one above again and again. Criticizing this nonesense makes alarmists very angry.

Even if they start to behave like Stalin and Hitler you are not allowed to tell them. Complaininmg about this behaviour is a crime or a sign of your weakness, dumbness or of the money you get from Exxon Mobile.

Here on this blog again, the same behaviour: Denialism!

Why, for Gods sake, can't you simply admit that this sentence *by 2020, "in some countries of Africa yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50 percent".** in the way it was propagated is bullshit?

Do I really have to question myself because someone else behaves unethically, lies and cheats?

Wenn wir Gauner nicht mehr Gauner nennen dürfen handelt es sich um eine Religion, eine tumbe Ideologie, die sich mittlerweile ganz ähnlich verhält wie die katholische Kirche.

And you call ME denier?!

Happy new year. ;-)


Yeph

Peter Heller said...

My comment on Arnell (2004) is now online (in German):

http://www.science-skeptical.de/blog/das-ipcc-und-arnell-2004-der-klimawandel-als-konstruierte-katastrophe/006561/

Two basic results:

1. It is misleading to use Arnells study to support mitigation, becaus it shows population increase (and not climate change) as the main factor for future water stress.

2. Africagate is partly based on the interpretation of the tables 11 and 12 in the paper. In my opinion it remains unclear, what these tables really show. I have not understand it yet. My present view on these tables (which has changed during the past weeks) is included in my comment. To summarize: These tables are not comparable to the other tables in Arnell 2004 and do not show any useful result.

Anonymous said...

Ja, nun ist in #38 ja doch eingetreten, was ich in #5 befürchtet hatte und worauf Herr von Storch in #6 Stellung nahm.

Herr Heller, glauben Sie wirklich, Sie könnten Arnell 2004 besser beurteilen als die vom Journal beauftragten Reviewer und die IPCC-Autoren zusammen?

Vorsicht, nach dem Leakgate, Northgate und Meichsnergate könnte sich ihr konstruiertes "africagate" womöglich als Hellergate entpuppen.

Andreas

Peter Heller said...

Andreas:

Es geht mir um eine konkrete Frage. Pachauri verwendet seit 2007 das folgende Statement in seinen Reden:

"In Africa, by 2020, between 75 and 250 million people are projected to be exposed to water stress due to climate change…"

Gibt es hierfür eine wissenschaftliche Quelle? Arnell ist es nicht, denn aus seiner Arbeit lässt sich dieser Satz nicht ableiten. Was sich stattdessen ableiten lässt, ist:

"In Africa, by 2025, between 290 and 380 million people are projected to be exposed to water stress due to population increase…"

Ein "Peer-Review" habe ich nicht durchgeführt. Ich habe überprüft, ob die Arbeit im IPCC-Bericht korrekt wiedergegeben wurde. "Korrekt" in der Hinsicht, daß man sagen kann, es handele sich um "gute Politikberatung". Das ist offensichtlich nicht erfolgt.

Man hat die Arbeit schlicht nicht mit der erforderlichen Sorgfalt betrachtet. Man kann da gerne hineininterpretieren, daß dies bewußt geschehen ist. Man kann aber auch gerne ableiten, daß offensichtlich die IPCC-Autoren der WG2 etwas überfordert waren.
(Was die Recherchen von Donna Laframboise stützt.)

Und man kann auch gerne zu der Auffassung gelangen, daß Pachauri kein sehr glückliches Händchen bei der Auswahl dessen hat, was er aus dem WG 2 promotet. Himalayagate, Hurricangate und Africagate ergeben sich ja aus der Vehemenz, mit der die entsprechenden Stellen des Berichtes in die mediale und politische Welt hineingetragen wurden. Pachauri sucht sich interessanterweise immer genau das aus, was sich hinterher als - höflich ausgedrückt - eher wenig belastbar zeigt.

Anonymous said...

@ Heller

Egal, ob man ihr Kind nun "peer-review" nennt oder anders, Fakt ist, dass Sie auch in ihrem letzten Beitrag nicht einmal ansatzweise die Möglichkeit in Betracht ziehen, dass Sie es sind, der irrt (dass Arnell mit der Wiedergabe seiner Arbeit im AR4 einverstanden ist, ist bekannt?).
Ich habe seinerzeit im Physikstudium schnell gelernt, Selbstüberschätzung abzulegen, Sie scheinen sich da wohl etwas bewahrt zu haben.

In diesem Sinne:
Aus Gründen, die ich genannt habe, habe ich Arnell 2004 nicht gelesen. Aus noch näherliegenden Gründen werde ich ihr "Hellergate" ebenfalls links liegen lassen, obwohl der Titel Der Klimawandel als konstruierte Katastrophe zugegebenermaßen sehr vielversprechend klingt.

Glückwunsch, Herr Heller, Sie haben's geschafft und sind der größte Experte zu Afrika und weit darüber hinaus.

Gehaben Sie sich wohl
Andreas

Peter Heller said...

@ Andreas:

Daß die Frage, die mich umtreibt, nicht die ist, die Prof. von Storch hier gerne bearbeiten möchte, ist doch klar. Deswegen habe ich mich auch nicht in den Prozess hier eingebracht, sondern meinen Kommentar zu Arnell verlinkt. Der Text kann für ein erneutes Peer Review Hinweise liefern, oder auch nicht. Das sollen die bewerten, die sich mit Arnells Annahmen und seiner Vorgehensweise intensiver befassen wollen. Ich stelle Arnells Kompetenz und die Güte seiner Arbeit nicht in Frage.

@ all:

Mein Problem sind die Inhalte der Tabellen 11 und 12 und deren korrekte Interpretation. Was wurde hier eigentlich berechnet und welche Aussagen können daraus abgeleitet werden? Es wäre schön, wenn sich auch andere User mal mit dieser Frage auseinandersetzen könnten. Ich hatte die beiden Tabellen jedenfalls zunächst falsch verstanden und daher zumindest eine der drei Textstellen im IPCC-Report als korrekt angesehen. Bei näherem Hinsehen entpuppt sich aber auch diese (Lateinamerika) als falsch.

Zitat:

"dass Arnell mit der Wiedergabe seiner Arbeit im AR4 einverstanden ist, ist bekannt?"

Nein, das ist mir nicht bekannt. Haben Sie dafür einen Beleg? Mir sind nur Zitate bekannt, in denen er darauf verweist, man dürfe aus den Tabellen 11 und 12 nicht die Nettowerte bilden (womit er - wahrscheinlich ohne Kenntnis davon zu haben - der Darstellung im Lateinamerika-Kapitel des IPCC widerspricht). Ich sehe das nach wie vor anders. Wenn sich die Tabellen 11 und 12 auf die Personen beziehen, die in 2025ff unter Wassermangel leiden werden und darstellen, für wieviele von diesen sich diese Situation verschlechtert respektive verbessert, ist nur der Nettowert aussagekräftig im Vergleich zu Tabelle 7, die die Auswirkungen des Bevölkerungswachstums enthält. Das haben ja auch die IPCC-Autoren im Lateinamerika-Kapitel so eingeschätzt. Dabei aber übersehen, daß Tabelle 7 und Tabelle 11/12 nicht vergleichbar sind, da sie unterschiedliche Personengruppen beinhalten.

Dies ist also die Frage, die ich an die hier versammelten Leute stellen möchte: Was genau bedeuten die Tabellen 11 und 12?

Eine regionale Aufschlüsselung derjenigen, die in Zukunft unter Wassermangel leiden werden, findet sich in Arnells Studie leider nicht. Daher sind Sätze wie der von Pachauri nicht gedeckt.

Ich denke als ein weiterer Aspekt zeigt sich hier, daß Wissenschaftler kaum dazu in der Lage sind, wirklich zu überblicken, was aus ihren Arbeiten wie zitiert und interpretiert wird. Sie sind vor allem bei mehrere Jahre alten Texten schlicht damit überfordert, selbst immer genau zu wissen, was sie wann ausgerechnet haben und warum. Möglicherweise ist das bei Arnell einfach der Fall. Ich weiß heute auch nicht mehr, was vor acht Jahren zu irgendeinem Thema geschrieben habe. Ich müsste mir den alten Text wieder genau anschauen und selbst neu durchdenken. Deswegen ergibt der Ansatz von Herrn von Storch hier durchaus Sinn.

Vinny Burgoo said...

Andreas, I'm relying on Google Translate, so please forgive me if I have misunderstood.

You appear to think that Peter Heller must be wrong because the various AR4 WG2 chapter authors, the compilers of the WG2 SPM, and the compilers of the SYR and SYR SPM can't have been wrong because they were experts and he isn't. Well, all you have to do is read Arnell 2004. The experts were wrong. Unfortunately, Professor Arnell hasn't yet responded to my e-mail asking for confirmation that Tables 10, 11 and 12 dealt with the projected effects of both climate change and population growth but, if you read his (as far I can tell, blameless) 2004 paper, you'll be left with little doubt that they did cover both of those effects and that population growth was the larger of the two.

So the IPCC's AR4 was very, very wrong to ascribe numbers (wrongly) derived from those tables to climate change alone. Rob Dekker argued that this was an unimportant error, the wrong claim about 75 to 250 million bla bla being one of only thousands made in the SYR SPM, but Dr Pachauri continues to use this particular claim in just about every speech he makes, so he clearly thinks the claim is important, and that makes the error important.

Forget Africagate, which is stale, tired, tedious and comparatively trivial, and say hello to Africagate2.

Reiner Grundmann said...

Andreas

zwei Bemerkungen aus ihrem letzten Kommentar geben doch zu denken:

"Fakt ist, dass Sie auch in ihrem letzten Beitrag nicht einmal ansatzweise die Möglichkeit in Betracht ziehen, dass Sie es sind, der irrt"

das haben Sie Herrn Heller mitgeteilt. Koennte das auf sie selbst zutreffen, trotz der Erleuchtung im Physikstudium?

"Aus Gründen, die ich genannt habe, habe ich Arnell 2004 nicht gelesen."

Wie bitte? Halten Sie Ignoranz fuer eine Tugend? Oder vermuten Sie in diesem paper so viele Probleme, dass sie es lieber links liegen lassen wollen?

Reiner Grundmann said...

Es gibt eine alte post-strukturalistische Einsicht wonach der Text mehr weiss als sein Autor.

Fragt man einen Autor nach der Bedeutung seines Romans, so hat er interpretativen Spielraum. Nur naive Beobachter werden seine Statements fuer die Wahrheit halten. Selbstmissverständnisse sind nicht selten. Dasselbe gilt für alle Textgenres, inclusive wissenschaftlicher Texte. Arnell als Kronzeugen aufzurufen, um AR4 zu decken, ist unseriös. Der bloße Versuch ist verwerflich. Ich weiß nicht, ob er tatsächlich mitgepielt hat, aber ohne eine elaborirerte Erklärung wäre ein solches statement wertlos.
Wenn es keine anderen Fakten gibt (außer Arnell 2004) für die Behauptungen über Dürre in Afrika, dann steht dieser Teil von AR4 auf schwachen Füßen.

Anonymous said...

@ Grundmann

Ihre beiden Fragen aus #44 hatte ich schon in #5 beantwortet.

Ignoranz als Tugend? Sicherlich nicht, das sah Kant schon ganz anders. Es ist aber sicherlich effizient, vielleicht sogar "tugendhaft", seine Zeit für Studium von Dingen aufzubringen, die größere Relevanz als das Erarbeiten der bloßen Annahmen eines von 19.000 Papern zu verwenden. Mein Interesse gilt der Klimaphysik und den Mechanismen vergangener und heutiger Klimawandel, da liegt dann eben meine Stärke und womöglich ihre Ignoranz?

Und es ist sicherlich nicht verkehrt, seine Grenzen realistisch einzuschätzen.

Obwohl, ihre 3 Punkte, die Sie zu den Annahmen beigetragen haben, hätte ich wohl auch in einer Viertelstunde geschafft.

Und wenn Sie jetzt ausdrücken wollen, dass Arnells Text mehr enthält, als der Autor weiß, und Herr Heller mehr als Text und Autor zusammen, bitte schön.

Um es kurz zu machen und gegen Klimazwiebeletikette verstoßend:
Sie mögen mich offensichtlich nicht und ich halte Sie für jemandem, dem postnormale Ideen so das Hirn vernebelt haben, dass er das Einfache und Wichtige der Klimadiskussion nicht mehr zu erkennen vermag.

Grüße
Andreas

Werner Krauss said...

Andreas, gerade um das Einfache und Wichtige der klimadiskussion zu bewahren ist es wichtig die Grenzen des Arnell papers zu erkennen. Meiner Meinung nach ist es völliger Quatsch, mittels Modellrechnungen beweisen zu wollen, dass es regional in den nächsten Jahrzehnten Wasserprobleme wegen des Klimawandels geben wird und das dann als Trumpfkarte im Wahrheitsspiel auf den Tisch zu werfen. Das kann doch noch nur schiefgehen! Das ist doch das Dilemma der Klimawissenschaften: dass genau solche doch wirklich sehr esoterischen Modellrechnungen (und das meine ich gar nicht negativ) für politische Aussagen missbraucht werden.
Dabei braucht es doch wirklich keinen Nobelpreisträger und auch keinen Propheten um vorauszusagen dass der Klimawandel in den nächsten Jahrzehnten regional in Afrika zu Problemen in der Wasserversorgung führen wird! Diese Aussage von mir dürft ihr jetzt alle extended Peer Review prüfen, und dann können wir das freigeben zum zitieren (Krauss 2012, klimazwiebel) Trifft ziemlich sicher zu, und ist weniger anfällig als Arnells sicherlich sehr sophisticatedes, aber eben doch auch sehr modellhaft gestricktes Rechenmanöver. Damit wäre auch das tatsächlich einfache und wichtige der Klimadiskussion gerettet. Manches postnormal vernebelte Hirn kann da eben doch mehr Klarheit schaffen als manch naiv positivistischer Modellbauer!

Reiner Grundmann said...

Andreas

der kleine Wutanfall sei verziehen - aber dennoch: wie darf ich ihren Satz verstehn
"Obwohl, ihre 3 Punkte, die Sie zu den Annahmen beigetragen haben, hätte ich wohl auch in einer Viertelstunde geschafft" ??

Entweder sie haben das paper gelesen und stimmen mit meinen 3 punkten überein, oder sie haben es nicht gelesen, finden meine 3 Punkte aber trotzdem gut und richtig, oder sie haben das paper nicht gelesen und finden die 3 punkte schlecht, oder... was? Der Hinweis auf Kantsche Autoriät hilft da nicht viel weiter.

Meinen sie wirklich, 10 000 Studien hätten etwas zu Klimafolgen in Afrika im AR4 beigetragen? Oder ist das eher metaphorisch gemeint?

Peter Heller said...

@ Krauss:

"Dabei braucht es doch wirklich keinen Nobelpreisträger und auch keinen Propheten um vorauszusagen dass der Klimawandel in den nächsten Jahrzehnten regional in Afrika zu Problemen in der Wasserversorgung führen wird!"

Oha. Ich bin allerdings der Auffassung, daß es keines Nobelpreisträgers und auch keines Propheten bedarf, um zu erkennen, daß man derartige Prognosen nicht aufstellen kann. Es ist uns leider nicht gegeben, irgendetwas über die Zukunft wissen zu können.

Hinzu tritt, daß konkret diese Prognose, wie Arnell (2004) zeigt, nicht überprüfbar sein wird. Die Probleme, die ein Klimawandel hervorrufen könnte, würden von den Problemen maskiert, die die Becölkerungszunahme hervorrufen wird (wenn sie denn eintritt).

Desweiteren (und das ist bei Arnell nur implizit über die Emissionsszenarien enthalten, aber nicht berücksichtigt) könnten das mit zunehmenden CO2-Emissionen zwangsläufig verknüpfte Wirtschaftswachstum und die damit einhergehenden Investitionen in Versorgungsinfrastrukturen die Auswirkungen des Klimawandels ebenfalls so maskieren, daß sie nicht feststellbar sein werden. Wer schon einmal in Doha, Abu Dhabi oder Riad gewesen ist, der weiß, daß diese Zentren nicht wirklich in einer Wüstengegend liegen, was sie laut Atlas aber tun sollten. Desweiteren leiden laut Arnell bereits heute 100 Millionen Menschen (!) in Westeuropa unter Wassermangel. Was sie erwiesenermaßen nicht bemerken.

Rob Dekker said...

Happy New Year everyone !

At the dawn of this new year, can we all take a step back for a second ?

Just like the argument MH made about the Peru reference, and that Leake made about the Agoumi 2003 reference (which he called AfricaGate) and that North made about the Rowell and Moore reference (which he turned into AmazonGate), do you guys realize that we are arguing about only ONE reference out of 18,000 in the AR4 ?

Apart from the fact that these previous "scandals" turned out to be a simple reference swap, and a (deliberate?) mis-interpretation of available information by the reporters involved, the issues with the reference to Arnell 2004 that Vinny already designates "africagate2" have not even been defined (by either Vinny or Peter Heller).

Seems to me that many of the posters here assume that the IPCC is at fault, unless it is proven innocent. And when proven innocent, you just create the next myth, turn it into another "scandal", which then turns out to be just as fake and innocent as the previous one.

Are you afraid that the IPCC may be right, and that human activities are causing the climates across the planet to change in significant ways, and will do so even more in the future as we continue (and increase) our carbon emissions ?

If that's not it, then why do you spend so much effort to find ways to misinterpret the AR4, and in this case Arnell 2004 ?

Anonymous said...

@ R. Grundmann, W.Krauss

Also, wenn ich mich an die Arbeit zu den Annahmen gemacht hätte, dann hätte ich es für mich als unbefriedigend empfunden, mich nur auf das Formulieren und Auffinden der Annahmen zu beschränken. Ich hätte mich dann auch dafür interessiert, die Annahmen zu bewerten und die Schlussfolgerungen im Hinblick auf die Annahmen zu untersuchen. Zur Bewertung der Annahmen gehört m.E. auch zu prüfen, ob solche Annahmen auch in anderen Studien gebräuchlich sind oder nicht. An dieser Stelle erkennt man, dass es mit meinen Ansprüchen an mich selbst nicht mit einem Lesen von Arnell 2004 getan ist, da gehört schon ein gehöriges Maß an Überblickswissen dazu, da hätte ich Wochen gebraucht, Zeit, die mir fehlt.

Ich bin es gewohnt, den Rat von Experten anzunehmen - Steuerberater, Architekt, Ärzte etc. Und wenn ich Zweifel habe, versuche ich nicht, mich selbst zum Experten zu machen, sondern konsultiere weitere Experten.

Selbst wenn der Hobbyexperte Heller tatsächlich Fehler finden würde, was ändert sich? Meiner Laienmeinung nach krankt die ganze Klimafolgenforschung daran, dass die Unsicherheiten so riesig sind, dass solche Vorhersagen wie die zu Afrika eine Art verbessertes Kaffeesatzlesen zu verstehen sind. Man kennt weder das reell eintretende CO2-Szenario noch sind Klimamodell so gut, dass sie regional einheitliche Vorhersagen liefern könnten, ich gebe daher wenig auf Arnell 2004, egal ob richtig oder falsch erarbeitet und im AR4 dargestellt.

Nehmen wir mal an, der Klimafonds startet 2020 und verteilt große Geldsummen auch an Afrika. Sollte man die Verteilung dort nun auf Basis von GCM-Vorhersagen durchführen oder nicht besser pragmatisch danach, dort zu investieren, wo heute schon Probleme sind, unabhängig davon, ob diese nun von Klimawandel, demographischen Entwicklungen oder einfach nur bad policy verursacht werden.

Meine Sicht des WG2 ist natürlich laienhaft, daher würde mich dazu die Meinung eines Experten, z.B. Herr von Storch interessieren. Das sind für mich die "großen" Fragen, dazu wüsste ich gerne mehr, das Abtauchen in Arnell 2004 ist für mich nur Zeitverschwendung und Verheddern in bedeutungslosem Klein-Klein.

PS:
Für mich ist der WG2 keine "harte Wissenschaft", von daher halte ich die Chancen für nicht schlecht, dort weitere Fehler zu finden, die man dann zu "gates" aufblasen kann. Natürlich ist die Wahrscheinlichkeit groß, dass sich nicht die Experten, sondern die Laien irren - s. North, Leake, Meichsner. Aber hin und wieder landet auch ein Amateur einen Treffer, wer weiß, vielleicht ist es ja sogar Herr Heller? Mir ist es jedenfalls egal, mich interessieren die Themen der WG1.

Andreas

Werner Krauss said...

@Peter Heller
Ich (kleinlaut): Ja, natürlich. Dennoch wird es a) Klimawandel und b) Wasserprobleme geben. Weil es beide immer gibt und in bestimmten Regionen diese Kombination im Zusammenspiel mit anderen Faktoren besonders zum Tragen kommt. Aber das ist eine zugegebenermaßen sehr banale Aussage und relativiert Ihren Einwand nicht.

Werner Krauss said...

@ Andreas
"Ich bin es gewohnt, den Rat von Experten anzunehmen - Steuerberater, Architekt, Ärzte etc. Und wenn ich Zweifel habe, versuche ich nicht, mich selbst zum Experten zu machen, sondern konsultiere weitere Experten."

Und wer uebernimmt am Ende die Verantwortung?

Anonymous said...

Lieber Andreas,

Sie bringen es fertig hier einen nach dem anderen zu beleidigen, Offensichtliches zu leugnen, sich einer weiteren Diskussion zu entziehen, um dann am Ende wieder beim üblichen Klimadeterminismus zu landen.

Egal wer was und wann wie behauptet hat und ob er es hundertmal wiederholt hat und ob es der Pachauri ist oder werweissich, all das ist egal. Es ist auch egal ob man Leute auf die Füsse tritt und beleidigt, man steht ja auf der guten Seite?!

So traut sich sogar hier kaum jemand einem Hoffmann oder einem Rahmstorf einmal ein klein wenig die Meinung zu sagen. Wieso sollte man also Pachauri kritisieren oder die Aussagen die JEDER Laie als Mumpitz ansieht?

Dieser ganze Themenkomplex macht uns zu Klimaskeptikern, nicht die Wissenschaftler die ihre Wissenschaft ausüben.

Wieso sollte ich jemandem wie Ihnen trauen, der sich je mehr er sich windet immer tiefer in den Morast einsinkt. Weil SIE die Welt retten werden? Indem Sie und Konsorten regelmässig lügen, verheimlichen, herunterspielen?

Wenn man ohne solche Pauchaurismen nicht mehr auskommt, sollte man m.E. besser einpacken. Leute denen ich mein Geld und die Zukunft des Planeten anvertrauen möchte lügen und betrügen nicht.

Und es gibt doch so viel zu tun!

Ihr Leute habt die Wahl.


Yeph

Peter Heller said...

Gut, darauf möchte ich gerne reagieren:

Zitat Andreas: "der Hobbyexperte Heller"

Das Erstellen und Intepretieren von Szenarien und Projektionen ist Teil meines Jobs.

@ Krauss:

"Dennoch wird es a) Klimawandel und b) Wasserprobleme geben. Weil es beide immer gibt und in bestimmten Regionen diese Kombination im Zusammenspiel mit anderen Faktoren besonders zum Tragen kommt."

Volle Zustimmung.

@ Rob Dekker:

I have clearly defined my understanding of Africagate . It is the use of the sentence

"In Africa, by 2020, between 75 and 250 million people are projected to be exposed to water stress due to climate change…"

by Rajendra Pachauri in a large number of speeches. In my opinion this is not based on science, especially not on Arnell (2004).

And this is not only one single error. It is an example for a common error in media and politics, supported by climate scientists. Whenever it comes to the interpretation of scenarios and projections, they are taken as predicitions. Confusing these two very different concepts is the foundation of the work of WG2 and its importance for the discussion.

"Are you afraid that the IPCC may be right, and that human activities are causing the climates across the planet to change in significant ways, and will do so even more in the future as we continue (and increase) our carbon emissions?"

No. I am afraid of the influence the conceived fantasy of a man-made climate change has gained in current policies. I am confident, that there will be no dangerous climate change, whatever the reasons for it may be. There is no rational reason to fear bad weather today (in the western world), and there will be no reason to fear it tomorrow (everywhere), if we follow the path of growth and development started with the industrial revolution.

Anonymous said...

@ Rob
Happy new year. Excuse me writing in German, my English is a little bit rusty. You made some good points. I think, all "gates" are about rather unimportant issues. true or not, they can't influence the main message of IPCC, unless you try to hype them: A fault is a "gate" able to destroy all credibility of the IPCC and for doing so, you need some willing journalists to transport this message. At this point we welcome the Meichserns, Meischners ;-), Leakes et al. But at Klimazwiebel we are not intersted in this topic, we like to show only manipulations of politcs and public by science.


@ W.Krauss

Natürlich übernehme ich am Ende die Verantwortung, ich habe mir ja die Experten meines Vertrauens ausgesucht. Haben Sie ein Problem damit, dass unsere Gesellschaft so ausdifferenziert ist, dass es für praktisch jedes Problem Leute gibt, die viel mehr darüber wissen als Sie? "Extended-peer-review" ist doch nur ein wohlklingender Euphemismus für "Laien machen Arbeit, die andere besser können".

PS:
Wir beobachten heute in Europa in Ländern wie Italien und Griechenland eine Art "Expertokratie". Weil Monti nun Dinge schafft, die die Politiker so nicht hingekriegt haben?
Ausgang der Weltfinanzkrise war der Zusammenbruch der Lehmann-Bank. Ob Bush's Regierung da auf Ökonomieexperten gehört hat oder ihren neoliberalen Ideologien vertraut hat?
Folgt die Politik in Europa heute nicht bedingungs- und alternativlos einem Weg, "systemrelevante" Bereiche zu retten, wo Ökonomie- und Finanzexperten über systemrelevant entscheiden?

So läuft's eben, die Regierungschef folgen den Experten, die sie sich ausgesucht haben und denen sie vertrauen. Wer Probleme damit hat, kann ja eine postnormale Selbsthilfegruppe aufsuchen.


@ yeph

Hey, Sie habe ich aber noch nicht beleidigt. Material dazu liefern Sie zwar genug, aber ich arbeite mich nicht an Schwächeren ab.


@ Heller

So,so, Methodenkenntnisse genügen? Man hat ja nun fast schon den Eindruck, ein IPCC-Autor kann jeder werden.


Andreas

Vinny Burgoo said...

1. What X said is right.

2. If it's wrong it's the fault of those who looked at it too closely.

3. Looking at it too closely is proof of bad faith.

4. Therefore, what X said is right.

Rob Dekker said...

Peter Heller wrote :

I have clearly defined my understanding of Africagate. It is the use of the sentence

"In Africa, by 2020, between 75 and 250 million people are projected to be exposed to water stress due to climate change…"

by Rajendra Pachauri in a large number of speeches. In my opinion this is not based on science, especially not on Arnell (2004).


OK. Let's start right here for now.
Can you please refer to couple of speaches where Pachauri made that exact statement ? Also, does this exact sentence occur in the IPCC report and if so, where ?

After all, before you generalize your opinion as an example of a "common error in media and politics", it does not hurt to check the source and define which "error" you actually claim to have found.

Peter Heller said...

@ Dekker:

"Can you please refer to couple of speaches where Pachauri made that exact statement ? Also, does this exact sentence occur in the IPCC report and if so, where ?"

This is really boring. Some of the important speeches (high-level meetings with high-level participants) are documented on the IPCC-Website:

http://www.ipcc.ch/presentations_and_speeches/presentations_and_speeches.shtml

Pachauri used the sentence for example on the following dates:

30.11.2011, Durban
7.12.2009, Kopenhagen
22.09.2009, New York
23.01.2008, Davos
24.09.2007, New York

The message is also included in several other speeches (e.g. 1.12.2008, Poznan) in a different wording.

The sentence is not included in the IPCC AR4 WG2. So far I have been able to identify three places, where Arnell (2004) is referenced:

9.4.1 "Africa":

"In some assessments, the population at risk of increased water stress in Africa, for the full range of SRES scenarios, is projected to be 75-250 million and 350-600 million people by the 2020s and 2050s, respectively (Arnell, 2004)."

This is - to be polite - misleading, because Arnell does not differentiate in his tables 10,11 and 12 between climate change and population increase. As you can see in table 7 of Arnell, most of the risk of increased water stress is based on population increase.

10.4.2.3 "Asia":

"It is estimated that under the full range of SRES scenarios, 120 million to 1.2 billion, and 185 to 981 million people will experience increased water stress by the 2020s, and the 2050s, respectively (Arnell, 2004)."

Same as above.

13.4.3 "Latinamerica"

"People living in water-stressed watersheds (less than 1,000 m3/capita per year) in the absence of climate change were estimated to number 22.2 million in 1995 (Arnell, 2004). The number of people experiencing increased water stress under the SRES scenarios is estimated to range from 12 to 81 million in the 2020s, and from 79 to 178 million in the 2050s (Arnell, 2004). These estimates do not take into account the number of people moving out of water-stressed areas (unlike Table 13.6)."

This is misleading again and table 13.6 is labelled wrong and compares two different things. There is no way to get a number of people moving out of water-stress on a regional level from Arnell (2004).

Check by yourself.

"After all, before you generalize your opinion as an example of a "common error in media and politics", it does not hurt to check the source and define which "error" you actually claim to have found."

I am not an english native speaker
and therefore I am sorry, but I do not understand, what you mean. I have checked, it is an error and the error arises based on the misusing of projections as predictions. This is common, whenever the potential outcome of a potential climate change is discussed in the public.

Or: Do you really think, not to reach the "two-degree-target" in emission reduction would mean, that temperatures will rise for sure above 2 degrees? If you think that, I cannot help you further. There is a huge difference between plausibility and propability.

MH said...

@Peter Heller

Part I

Arnells paper is a bit obscure and I had quite some difficulty in understanding it. But I think there is a plausible interpretation for the tables.

Geographical area is divided into watersheds. A watershed is stressed if it has less than 1000m^3/ capita/year. For a given year Arnell compares the available water under the assumption of no climate change (NO_CLIMATE_CHANGE) and under the assumption of climate change according to some model such as HADCM3 etc. (CLIMATE_CHANGE).

A watershed becomes stressed if it is not stressed under NO_CLIMATE_CHANGE and stressed under CLIMATE_CHANGE.
A watershed stops being stressed if it is stressed under NO_CLIMATE_CHANGE and not stressed under CLIMATE_CHANGE.
There is an increase in stress if the watershed is stressed under both NO_CLIMATE_CHANGE and CLIMATE_CHANGE and if there is less water under CLIMATE_CHANGE than under NO_CLIMATE_CHANGE.
There is a decrease in stress if the watershed is stressed under both NO_CLIMATE_CHANGE and CLIMATE_CHANGE and there is more water under CLIMATE_CHANGE than under NO_CLIMATE_CHANGE.

The words 'becomes' and 'increase' do not refer to something that takes place in time. They refer to what happens when for a given year we switch from the NO_CLIMATE_CHANGE hypothesis to the CLIMATE_CHANGE hypothesis.

The tables give the number of people living in watersheds characterized as above.

The totals of Table 7 are in the lower part of Table 5. These totals appear in Table 8 when we aggregate the stress classes 500-1000 and <500. For example for 2025-A1/B1 the sum of the numbers in the fifth column of Table 7 (third number column) is 2882,4. This number can be found in Table 5 at the third line from the bottom and in the second column. In Table 8 the numbers for 2025-A1 (or 2025-B1) and the stress classes 500-1000 and <500 are 1508 and 1375. Their sum is 2883 wich is equal to 2882,4 up to rounding errors.

MH said...

@Peter Heller

Part II

Table 9 is related to Table 8 as follows. The difference between the number of people living in watersheds that are stressed under NO_CLIMATE_CHANGE and the number of people living in watersheds that are stressed under CLIMATE_CHANGE is the net result of an inflow of people moving into the water-stressed category (people living in watersheds that are stressed under CLIMATE_CHANGE but un-stressed under NO_CLIMATE_CHANGE) and outflow of people moving out of the water-stressed category (people living in watersheds that are un-stressed under NO_CLIMATE_CHANGE but stressed under CLIMATE_CHANGE).

More precisely, let:

SUM_W = sum over all watersheds W,
NUM(W) = number of people living in watershed W,
Stressed(W,NO_CLIMATE_CHANGE) = 1 if W is stressed under NO_CLIMATE_CHANGE, and 0 otherwise,
Stressed(W,CLIMATE_CHANGE) = 1 if W is stressed under CLIMATE_CHANGE and 0 otherwise.

The number of people living in watersheds that are stressed under NO_CLIMATE_CHANGE is

N1 = SUM_W NUM(W) x Stressed(W,NO_CLIMATE_CHANGE)

The number of people living in watersheds that are stressed under CLIMATE_CHANGE is

N2 = SUM_W NUM(W) x Stressed(W,CLIMATE_CHANGE)

The number of people living in watersheds that are stressed under both NO_CLIMATE_CHANGE and CLIMATE_CHANGE is

N3 = SUM_W NUM(W) x Stressed(W,NO_CLIMATE_CHANGE) x Stressed(W,CLIMATE_CHANGE)

The number of people moving into the water-stressed category is

N4 = SUM_W NUM(W) x [1-Stressed(W,NO_CLIMATE_CHANGE)] x Stressed(W,CLIMATE_CHANGE) = N2 - N3

The number of people moving out of the water-stressed category is

N5 = SUM_W NUM(W) x Stressed(W,NO_CLIMATE_CHANGE) x [1-Stressed(W,CLIMATE_CHANGE)] = N1 - N3

We then see that N2-N1 = N4-N5.

For 2025-A1-HADCM3 we have

N1 = 2883 (1508+1375 from Table 7),
N2 = 2938 (1664+1274 from Table 7),
N3 = 126 (from Table 8) and
N4 = 71 (from Table 8).

Indeed N2-N1 = 2938-2883 = 55 = 126-71 = N3-N4.

Table 10 is about the situation of watersheds (and the people living there) that are stressed under both NO_CLIMATE_CHANGE and CLIMATE_CHANGE. The numbers of Table 10 cannot be compared with those of Table 9 because they describe something different.

My interpretation of Table 10 is in line with Arnells statement on page 42:

'Substantially more people in water-stressed watersheds experience an increase in water stress due to a reduction in runoff, than move into the water-stressed category'

People become stressed 1) when their watershed, which is not stressed under NO_CLIMATE_CHANGE, becomes stressed under CLIMATE_CHANGE, or 2) when the situation in their watershed which is stressed under NO_CLIMATE_CHANGE becomes even worse under CLIMATE_CHANGE.

MH said...

@Rob Dekker

You wrote

For example Arnell 2004 (referenced by Rahmstorf) estimated that "by the 2050s between 670 and 1500 million people living in water-stressed watersheds would see a significant reduction in water availability due to climate change".

The quotes you use suggest that this is a literal citation but in the paper being discussed on this blog I can't find it. Or did you take the quote from Rahmstorf? Or is there another Arnell 2004 than the one that I have read?

Rob Dekker said...

Peter (and Andreas), thanks for responding to my English posts. I can read German, so if you prefer to write in German, I will understand you (and if I don't, I will ask). Still, I hope you don't mind that I will continue to post in English though, since me trying to write German would be a serious source of confusion and laughter ;o)


Peter, I'm sorry that you find it 'boring' to trace at least one of your allegations back to the source, but you mentioned that the definition of your understanding of Africagate is "the use of the sentence...by Rajendra Pachauri in a large number of speeches".

So I naturally asked for where he uses that statement.

It is important to get facts and references clear if you are making claims of an "error", don't you think ?

Next, I still am not sure what the "error" is that you refer to.
Let's see if maybe together we can find out.

You wrote The sentence is not included in the IPCC AR4 WG2

In most of his speaches, Pachauri uses the unaltered form directly from the IPCC WG2 SPM :
http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg2/ar4-wg2-spm.pdf

By 2020, between 75 and 250 million of people are projected to be exposed to
increased water stress due to climate change.


So here is my first question for you : How did Pachauri get involved in your story ? Why not simply mention the AR4 WG2 SPM statement as the source of the "error" ?
Or did you not see that Pachauri quotes directly from the SPM ?

Next, if you follow the references from this statement in the SPM, you indeed end up at Arnell 2004.

This is where your next statement comes in. You wrote In my opinion this is not based on science, especially not on Arnell (2004).

What exactly in the SPM sentence specifically do you believe is not based on science (or Arnell 2004) ? Is it the range you are contesting ?
Also, how is this an "error" and "an example for a common error in media and politics, supported by climate scientists" as you claim ?
I simply fail to see your point, I guess.

Rob Dekker said...

MH, I think I obtained the exact quote from Arnell's own report here :
http://ressources.ciheam.org/om/pdf/a80/00800414.pdf

In Arnell 2004 itself, the same statement is comprised in a sub-sentence in the abstract :

Under the A2 population between 1092 and 2761 million people have an increase in stress; under the B2 population the
range is 670-1538 million, respectively.


None of which was contested by any of the journalists. I rather arbitrarily brought up this example of an uncontested statement, to show that some journalists "cherry-pick" particular clauses from particular scientific references, take them out of context and spin it into a -gate 'conspiracy' while simultaneously ignoring the vast amount of statements made in the 18,000 references used in the IPCC AR4.

Either way, why do you ask ?

Rob Dekker said...

MH, thanks for your posts 60 and 61, explaining tables 7 - 10 in Arnell 2004 to Peter Heller. I have not checked if you exact explanation is correct or not, but it may be noteworthy that Peter did not mention that he had any problem interpreting tables 7 - 10.

Actually, he mentioned explicitly "Mein Problem sind die Inhalte der Tabellen 11 und 12 und deren korrekte Interpretation". in post 42.

So why are you explaining posts 7 - 10 for him, but not 11 or 12 ?

Rather than you explaining tables in Arnell 2004 that Peter does not dispute, would it not be more appropriate if Peter himself explains why he believes that the IPCC SPM statement that Pachauri makes in most of his speeches is "not based on science, especially not on Arnell 2004" ?

Rob Dekker said...

Vinny, to which conversation does your post 57 refer to ?

Peter Heller said...

@ Dekker:

It is boring because I have written two articles on the subject and I have discussed it on several blogs – and in the meantime I have seen, that others have done the same two years ago (especially Indur Goklany and Matt Ridley). Everybody understands the error. You don’t. I cannot help you. You have to check by yourself. Some hints:

1. Arnell (2004) contains no predictions, but projections. It is a plausibility check of potential futures. It shows the potential outcome of the functional chain of the two factors “population increase” and “climate change”.

2. The IPCC-statement
“By 2020, between 75 and 250 million of people are projected to be exposed to increased water stress due to climate change. “
is misleading, because these people are not the ones, who will not be exposed to water stress in a world without climate change. They will live in water stress conditions because of the population increase. Yes, Arnell shows, that futures are plausible, in which these already stressed people will experience more stress due to climate change. But if this is mentioned, you have also to take into account the group of people to experience a reduction in their (population based) water stress conditions due to climate change (the IPCC tried that for Latinamerica only, but made another mistake here).

3. Pachauri misses the word “increased” in all of his statements.
"In Africa, by 2020, between 75 and 250 million people are projected to be exposed to water stress due to climate change…"
There is an important difference between the people to be exposed to water stress and the people to be exposed to “increased water stress” in Arnell (2004). The “75 to 250” contain only a subset of the group which will be exposed to water stress due to population increase. Based on Arnell (2004) it is not possible to present a number of the people not living under water stressed conditions in a world without climate change but living under water stress, if in addition to population increase climate change is taken into account.

4. Without the background knowledge everybody listening Pachauri will think, that the “75 to 250” will become water stressed by climate change and not become water stressed, if climate change is prevented. This is totally wrong. This is an example, how the Pachauri-Statement has been reported by German media during Durban:
“Unseren Berechnungen nach werden in Afrika bis 2020 zwischen 75 und 250 Millionen Menschen Opfer von Wassermangel, der dem Klimawandel zuzuschreiben ist”, betonte der Vorsitzende des Weltklimarats, Rajendra Pachauri.“
„Opfer“ means „dead persons“.

This is a typical outcome of the WG2. The IPCC-Report contains lot of misleading statements which can be used (and are used) in politics and media as propaganda-tools. Starting with a plausibility check of the outcome of the interaction of important leverage forces the results are presented in a manner that opens up space for misinterpretations. The message is again distorted in the public communication by IPCC-officials (consequently ignoring all attempts to correct them) and in the end hundreds of millions are reported as deaths for sure.
The scientific result of Arnell (2004) is that climate change will reduce the risks of water stress created by population increase globally – and especially in Asia. Both results are not mentioned by IPCC-officials to the general public. For Africa, the science-based statement could be
“In Africa, by 2025, between 290 and 380 million people are projected to be exposed to water stress due to population increase…”

MH said...

@Rob Dekker

Thanks for the reference. The point is that Arnell (2004) does not quantify the increases in stress (= reduction in water availability). So it can never show a 'significant' reduction. Arnell (2004) does not mention 'significant increase'. It could be that the reductions calculated by Arnell are indeed significant but they are not given in the paper and as far as the paper is concerned the total reduction in water availability could be infinitesimally small.

It should also be noted that Arnell (2004) Table 10 shows that for the same year 2055 and the same scenario B2 between 1788 and 2508 million people living in water-stressed watersheds would see a (significant?) increase in water availability due to climate change. So the net result of climate change would be positive.

The first part of Table 10 contains the totals of Table 11 and the second part contains the totals of Table 12 (taking into account rounding errors). Tables 10, 11 and 12 have essentially the same meaning.

Anonymous said...

@ Peter Heller (#67)

Ich kann zwar inhaltlich nichts beitragen, verfolge das ganze aber auf der Kraußschen Metaebene und finde interessante Parallelen:

Angenommen, Sie hätten tatsächlich einen Fehler gefunden, was wäre dann der logische Weg?

Ich denke, man könnte versuchen, den zuständigen IPCC-Autor zu kontaktieren (vielleicht sogar über Prof. von Storch, um dem Statement mehr Gewicht zu verleihen) und um Prüfung bitten. Sollten Sie recht haben, wäre eine Korrektur angebracht, was ja auch im Hinblick auf den AR5 wichtig sein könnte.

Sie arbeiten sich auf mehreren parallelen Ebenen ab:

1. Ist Arnell 2004 korrekt?

2. Ist die Darstellung von Arnell 2004 durch den IPCC-AR4 korrekt?

Das reicht Ihnen aber offenbar nicht. Was sollte dieser Fehler denn an den grundsätzlichen Aussagen des IPCC ändern? Sie scheinen nun der Strategie Norths und Leakes zu folgen, die versucht haben, damit gleich die ganze Glaubwürdigkeit des IPCC zu erschüttern und betreten eine weitere Ebene:

3. Ist die Glaubwürdigkeit Pachauris bzw. des IPCC betroffen?

Beachtenswert dazu ihre kühne Generalisierung in #67:
This is a typical outcome of the WG2. The IPCC-Report contains lot of misleading statements which can be used (and are used) in politics and media as propaganda-tools.

Wenn Sie weiter dem Vorbild Norths und Leakes folgen wollen, so empfehle ich eine Übersetzung ins englische und die Verbreitung in sämtlichen Skeptikerblogs. Der nächste Schritt wäre dann, Journalisten zu finden, die ihre Thesen (am besten ungeprüft anklagend) in die breite Öffentlichkeit tragen. Ob Meichsner dafür aber nochmals zur Verfügung stehen wird, bezweifle ich, ich meine, seit ihrem persönlichen "gate" züchtet sie nun Rosen irgendwo in den Niederlanden.

Andreas

Peter Heller said...

@ Andreas:

"Was sollte dieser Fehler denn an den grundsätzlichen Aussagen des IPCC ändern?"

Nichts. Der Fehler verdeutlicht die Methode, mit der das IPCC seine Kernbotschaft unterfüttert. Africagate ist eben nur ein Beispiel für eine bestimmte Methodik des IPCC. Diese Methode ist systembedingt, das IPCC ist von seiner Arbeitsweise, seiner Konzeption und seiner Struktur her darauf ausgerichtet, exakt diese Art von Politikberatung zu leisten. Dieses dem IPCC mitzuteilen (was ja auch im Fall Afrika/Arnell schon 2008 durch Goklany erfolgte), erzeugt daher nicht mehr als ein müdes Schulterzucken. Man hat dann nämlich lediglich gezeigt, verstanden zu haben, wie eine Bürokratie arbeitet. Die Bürokratie ändert das natürlich nicht.

Es sollte aber den Blick der Öffentlichkeit auf behördliche Strukturen ändern können. Denn merkwürdigerweise können wir alles, was von Bürokratien geschrieben und verbreitet wird, mit der notwendigen Skepsis betrachten, beim IPCC aber gelingt das zu vielen Menschen nicht.

Ihnen ja auch nicht.

Vielleicht aber ist Ihnen auch die Kernbotschaft des IPCC unklar. Diese lautet:

"Gebt der UNO mehr Einfluß auf die internationale Politik!"

Wie jede Behörde ist natürlich auch das IPCC nur daran interessiert, den eigenen Einfluß auszudehnen. Die Idee vom Klimawandel wird als Werkzeug auf eine bestimmte Art und Weise eingesetzt, um diesem Ziel näherzukommen. Es ist nicht so, daß jemand an irgendeiner Stelle bewußt beschlossen hat, jetzt die Öffentlichkeit zu belügen. Es ist vielmehr so, daß es vom Schreibknecht ganz unten über die Leitautoren und die Reviewer bis hin zum Vorsitzenden eine Kette gibt, innerhalb der nach dem Prinzip der "stillen Post" Botschaften für die Öffentlichkeit konstruiert werden.

Africagate und all die anderen Gates ermöglichen es, diese Vorgehensweise an konkreten Fällen nachzuvollziehen. Eine Vorgehensweise, die systembedingt alle Referenzen betrifft, auf die sich das IPCC stützt.

Mit diesem Wissen sollte die Öffentlichkeit die Berichte zur Kenntnis nehmen. Schafft die Öffentlichkeit das nicht, ist sie in dieser Hinsicht blind, ist es die Aufgabe der Medien, des Journalismus, diese Erblindung zu heilen.

Die eigentlich interessante Frage ist im Zusammenhang mit Africagate, warum der Journalismus von einigen wenigen Ausnahmen abgesehen, nicht mehr dazu in der Lage scheint, seiner eigentlichen Aufgabe nachzukommen. Statt die Botschaften der Bürokratie kritisch zu hinterfragen, werden sie unkritisch übernommen, ja man wirkt an ihrer Verbreitung sogar aktiv mit.

Das ist aus meiner Sicht die tiefere Bedeutung von Africagate. Daß ein als Schreibknecht mißbrauchter wissenschaftlicher Assistent irgendeines Professors aus irgendeinem Entwicklungsland bei der Interpretation einer bestimmten Studie überfordert ist, ist nicht die eigentliche Botschaft.

Rob Dekker said...

@Peter Heller

Pachauri misses the word "increased" in all of his statements.

No Peter, he does not.
This is why I asked you where he made the statement (without the word "increased") in his speeches, remember ? For example, since you brought up Durban, let's see what Pachauri stated in his Durban speech :
http://www.ipcc.ch/docs/COP17/IPCC_chair_speech_COP_17.pdf

Our assessment indicated that in Africa, by 2020, between 75 and 250 million of people are projected to be exposed to increased water stress due to climate change.

which is identical to the IPCC SPM statement, and the same statement that Pachauri has been telling for more than 4 years now, starting with Nobel Prize acceptance speech in 2007.

Without the background knowledge everybody listening Pachauri will think, that the "75 to 250" will become water stressed by climate change and not become water stressed, if climate change is prevented.

Not "everyone", Peter. Only people that did not read the Pachauri statement correctly.

The IPCC-Report contains lot of misleading statements which can be used (and are used) in politics and media as propaganda-tools.

That may be true, but so far you have not identified ANY misleading statements (let alone an "error") in the IPCC reports. So far it seems that the YOU are the one doing the misleading and making accusations that are not sustained by evidence. So who is really using the IPCC statements as a political propaganda-tool now ?

For Africa, the science-based statement could be "In Africa, by 2025, between 290 and 380 million people are projected to be exposed to water stress due to population increase"

The PBL actually recommended that BOTH these statements would be reported :
http://www.knmi.nl/research/ipcc/IAC/PBL_IPCCeng.pdf
Again, some policymakers may wish to see both numbers - that is, changes with
and without climate change - within the same context in a summary.


which I think is a reasonable request, but definitely secondary, since the IPCC is mandated to investigate and report effects of climate change and not any other variables. Actually, if they would also have to spend effort investigation and validating (by literature references) the effects of population change then undoubtedly some people would claim that they are "wasting taxpayers money" because they did not stick to their charter.

One more thing on this subject : You seem to be of the opinion that the focus on effects of climate change are irrelevant since the reason that people have water stress at all is because there are too many people in that area. That however is telling that people in heavily populated, water-stressed areas are themselves at fault for the water stress and the fact that we make there problems worse (by emitting greenhouse gasses) is not our problem. I find that a rather arrogant opinion, and I am not sure if that opinion will be accepted by the people living there if the projected scenarios work out the way that the climate models now project.

Peter Heller said...

@ Dekker:

"No Peter, he does not."

He did:

http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/presentations/rkp-statement-unccs-09.pdf

http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/presentations/cop%2015/RKP-welc-cer-cop15.pdf

and so on...

You are right, they have changed the sentence for Durban.

"Not "everyone", Peter. Only people that did not read the Pachauri statement correctly."

I have given you an example, what media reported. From Durban.

"That may be true, but so far you have not identified ANY misleading statements (let alone an "error") in the IPCC reports."

You are making jokes...

Rob Dekker said...

OK Peter, it all becomes clear now how you came to believe the myth that the IPCC and Pachauri are "misleading", and make an "error", and make "statements not based on science" on this topic of Arnell 2004 and how that research made it to the public :

You read the statement (without the word 'increased') in the COP15 speech (and found it also in the UN summit on CC speech, both in 2009). You thus assumed that it thus must be in "a large number of speeches" (your post #55), all the way back to 2007 (#40, #59) and up till Durban also (#59).

You did not find the statement (without the 'increased' word) in the AR4 either (#59), and neither could you find the range (without the word 'increased') in Arnell 2004's data.

Based on these assumptions you start using the statement (still without the 'increased' word) as evidence that Pachauri is making statements which are "not based in science, especially not on Arnell (2004)" (#55), that this is your understanding of Africagate (#55), and that this is a "common error in media and politics" (#55) with some further accusations against the IPCC.

Even after I asked you to trace back the core facts for the alleged "error" and "misleading" statements that you report, rather than actually checking the references, you state that you find it 'boring' to do so because you have "have written two articles on the subject and I have discussed it on several blogs" (#67). And right away you extrapolate your assumptions even further when you mention that "he misses the word "increased" in all of his statements". (also #67).

Eventually, you shoot yourself in the foot with your own assumption when you gave the example that German media in Durban misinterpreted Pachauri's statement as an example of how important the word 'increased' is in the statement. Only to find out (when I pointed you at it) that Pachauri DID use the word 'increased' in Durban. Oops.

As I mentioned in (#11), Potholer's first law applies :

Myths are created much faster than they can be debunked

And yes, it took time, and yes it can be 'boring' (as Peter said) to check all the available information on which we base our opinions, but we now see for the second time on this thread (the first one was MH's Peru reference) even on blogs threads we can debunk myths.

MH said...

@ Rob Dekker

You seem to be good at debunking myths. What about the myth that "by the 2050s between 670 and 1500 million people living in water-stressed watersheds would see a significant reduction in water availability due to climate change". Do you agree that Arnell (2004) does not justify such a conclusion?

Peter Heller said...

@ Dekker:

You are missing the important point. I gave you some hints, how to reach the conclusion presented by some journalists and bloggers in the past years (Leake, North, Meichsner, Lehmkuhl, Goklany, Ridley, ...). All I have done during the past weeks is reconstructing their work to check it. In two threads here at Klimazwiebel, two articles at Science Skeptical and two threads at Wissenslogs. I tried to support you in doing the same, by repeating it again and again. But it seems hopeless.

One potential starting point is the public awareness created by Pachauris speeches (top-down). The other is Arnell (2004) (bottom-up).

We started here with the latter. You were not able (not willing) to take into account, that there is a huge difference between projections and predictions. Arnell himself is aware of that, he writes in his study:

“The net effect of all these caveats is that the numerical estimates of the implications of climate change on future water resources stresses are not to be taken too literally. Rather, the numbers in the tables can be used to indicate the relative effects of different emissions, climate and population scenarios.”

The obvious conclusion: Using only values from table 11 is a misrepresentation of the conclusions, which could be drawn from Arnells study. In order to indicate the relative effects (the potential outcome of the functional chain of the two factors “population increase” and “climate change” - as I described above) table 12 is also important. But in the end one has to conclude, that both tables are not providing any hint for the relative effects because they are not comparable to table 7.

You where not able to accept, that Arnell (2004) is misunderstood in the IPCC AR4 WG2. I gave you another hint by providing the different attempts in this document (Africa, Asia, Latinamerica). You were not able to see, that, if "Africa" is correct, "Latinamerica" must be wrong. (In the end I came to the conclusion, that both are wrong.)

To show you, why this is important, especially in the context of the political debate, I started the argument again by referring to Pachauris statements. But it seems, that also the top-down argumentation doesn't help you to understand the error made by the IPCC.

Its hopeless. I am not willing to make a third attempt to explain it to you. Google. Use keywords like "Pachauri Africa 2020" or "Arnell 2004" or other combinations. You will find a lot of stuff from different blogs. All explaining the error from different viewpoints with different words. Maybe one of these articles ist understandable for you. I am not a good teacher. You have to think by yourself.

Werner Krauss said...

@peter heller:

"Die Bürokratie", "der Journalismus" - das sind aber sehr grobe Klötze! Das ist wie bei der marxistischen Analyse, wo man auch immer etwas enttäuscht ist, wenn die oft brillante Analyse des Einzelfalls nur dazu dient, das fehlerhafte System als solches zu entlarven. Wozu dann die Ganze Mühe mit dem Detail, wenn es doch nur Symptom für ein unkorrigierbares System ist?

Vinny Burgoo said...

Rob, can you really not see any problem with presenting a projection of the combined effects of population growth and climate change as though it were a projection of the effects of climate change alone?

As for whether Dr Pachauri says that climate change will increase the water stress of 75-250 million Africans or it will make that number become water-stressed, he switches between the two as the mood takes him. For example, at the Nansen Conference in June, he showed a slide correctly paraphrasing the (incorrect) statement in the SYR SPM, but in his speech he said that 'what's particularly an issue of concern is the fact that by 2020 we could have 75 to 250 million [African] people living in a state of water stress on account of climate change.'

He either has a very casual attitude towards accuracy or he can't see the difference between experiencing increased water stress and being water-stressed. Neither explanation is to his credit.

Add the other problems with his and his organisation's use of the estimate (a provisional study over-promoted, the projected effects ascribed to climate change alone, wrong calculation, wrong date) and you have evidence of a gobsmacking level of institutional incompetence and/or bias.

Anonymous said...

@ Werner Krauss

Nach Lesen von #70 gestehe ich, dass die Metaebene überaus erhellend sein kann. Sind das die typischen Ängste vieler Skeptiker?


@ Don Heller

Steigt vom Pferde ab, das IPCC ist doch nur eine Windmühle, kein Monster! Niemand will die Weltherrschaft.

Andreas

Vinny Burgoo said...

I forgot a problem: 75-250 million is only half of the equation.

Werner Krauss said...

75.000.000 - 250.000.000 Africans.
I wonder where they live and how they look like. And what they eat. And how water-stress looks like. Water-stress. 1 African with water-stress. 2 Africans with water-stress. An African Family with water-stress. One river population with water-stress. Maybe 175.000.000 Africans will have no water-stress, if everything turns out fine. Who ever invented the term "water-stress"?

Günter Heß said...

@Werner Krauss
I think the watersheds are water-stressed.
Arnell defines:
„water-stressed watersheds (runoff less than 1000 m3/capita/year)“

But others use also a different metrik (Arnell 2004):

„The current study assumes that areas with less than 1000m3/capita/year are water- stressed. Revenga et al. (2000) use thresholds of both 1700 and 1000 m3/capita/year.“

So one must state that X number of people live in an area that experiences water-stress as indicated by a runoff less than 1000 m3/capita/year or 1700 m3/capita/year .
If the people are water-stressed depends how well the water ressources are managed. I guess.

I am not an expert in hydrogeology, but if runoff translates to the german word „Gebietsabfluss“ , we are able to compare the „runoff“ of Brandenburg.
Brandenburg has a Gebietsabfluss of about 100 mm/year or below in most years. Translated to its area, I calculated 1150 m^3/capita/year. So we do have 2.9 Mio Brandenburger that already now live in an area that is close to water-stress.

Best regards
Günter

Vinny Burgoo said...

Werner, are you implying that it is callous to treat human beings as numbers? If so, can you think of a better way of quantifying climate change's impacts on humans? Perhaps all those who discuss such issues should do what the NGOs do and include little vignettes of real Africans who may or may not be affected by future climate change to a significant degree. This wouldn't prove that we care but it would prove that we care about being thought to be caring.

Anonymous said...

@Peter Heller

Respekt für die Mühe. Sie und Eduardo Zorita sind es wert, dass man hier weiterliest.

Bei der ganzen political correctness und dem Zurückzucken vor der Autorität einiger Leute deren Fachkenntnis ihre Arroganz und Selbstüberschätzung nicht überdecken kann, wird mir regelrecht übel.

Ich weiss nicht was es bringen soll nett zu denen zu sein die vor lauter dummdreister Selbstlobhudelei krampfhaft versuchen zu verbergen wie genial sie sich selbst finden und drüber hinweg zu sehen, dass alle anderen sie zutiefst verachten.

Si tacuisses Andreas

Yeph

MH said...

@Vincent Burgoo

You write here that Tables 10, 11 and 12 of Arnell (2004) deal with the projected effects of both climate change and population growth. What makes you think so? How do you interpret the expressions 'increase in stress' and 'decrease in stress'? And which statements in Arnell (2004) make you think that population growth is the larger effect?

Werner Krauss said...

@Vinny Burgos 82
Just tried a reality check. We talk about "Africans", about differences of 175.000.000 people, and we sum up diverse impacts in a technical term "water-stress". In the history between the West and the rest of the world, the combination of Africa, huge numbers and stress factors is not new and served historically well to express culture critique. It's a useful exercise to keep in mind that Africans live in nations, in diverse environments and with the capacity (or not) to adapt to changes in climate. They have infrastructures, administrations, governments, logistics, experiences and so on. Climate (and demography) are not fate. "Africa and millions" do not exist necessarily, seen from this perspective. It's hard to tell where the metaphor ends and reality begins.

I hope this is not a 'moralistic' standpoint. Instead, it points to an inherent problem in quantifying impacts of climate change. (semantics easily play tricks on numbers).

@Günther Hess
Thanks for definition. Brandenburg, Gebietsabfluss und dann noch etwas "Starkregen", und fertig ist der Germanic water-stress!

Günter Heß said...

Dear Werner Krauss,
in addition
invented was the Index according to my diggings by Falkenmark et al. :
„Falkenmark, M, J Lundquist and C Widstrand (1989). Macro-scale water scarcity requires micro-scale approaches: Aspects of vulnerability in semi-arid development. Natural Resources Forum 13(4):258- 267“
This index says: Index 
(m3 per capita per year) > 1700 no stress, 1000 – 1700 stress, 500 -1000 scarcity, < 500 absolute scarcity.
Best regards
Günter

Günter Heß said...

Möglicherweise auch hier:
Falkenmark. "The massive water scarcity threatening Africa-why isn't it being addressed." Ambio 18, no. 2 (1989): 112-118.

Günter Heß said...

@Werner Krauss
Mein Beispiel Brandenburg verdeutlicht nur die Schwierigkeit und die Notwendigkeit für kritische Betrachtung und Diskussion des water-stress Index as defined by Falkenmark.
Zum Beispiel schreiben Brown und Matlock in:
http://www.sustainabilityconsortium.org/wp-content/themes/sustainability/assets/pdf/whitepapers/2011_Brown_Matlock_Water-Availability-Assessment-Indices-and-Methodologies-Lit-Review.pdf
„In the past 20 years many indices have been developed to quantitatively evaluate water resources vulnerability (e.g. water scarcity or water stress). The difficulty of characterizing water stress is that there are many equally important facets to water use, supply and scarcity. Selecting the criteria by which water is assessed can be as much a policy decision as a scientific decision. This review provides an overview of the primary water scarcity indices and water resource assessment methodologies at the forefront of political and corporate decision making.“
Best regards
Günter

Günter Heß said...

The IPCC defines water-stress rather weak and vague and also differently to Arnell in its glossary:

"A country is water-stressed if the available freshwater supply relative to water withdrawals acts as an important constraint on development. Withdrawals exceeding 20% of renewable water supply have been used as an indicator of water stress. A crop is water-stressed if soil-available water, and thus actual evapo- transpiration, is less than potential evapotranspiration demands."

Rob Dekker said...

Vinny said Add the other problems with his and his organisation's use of the estimate (a provisional study over-promoted, the projected effects ascribed to climate change alone, wrong calculation, wrong date) and you have evidence of a gobsmacking level of institutional incompetence and/or bias.

Jee, Vinny, how do you get to such extreme opinions so quickly ?

I had gotten used to extrapolated allegations and possibly intentional misleading opinions based on assumptions by posters such as Peter Heller, but now you too ?

a provisional study over-promoted Dude, this is ONE sentence in the SPM (and in SOME of Pachauri's speeches), based on the best available peer-reviewed data available at the time, and it's not even shown to be incorrect. Seems to me that the "skeptic" blogosphere spends WAY more time on this than the IPCC does. So who does the promoting now ?

the projected effects ascribed to climate change alone
Which only you seem to contest.
Why don't you repricate Arnell's modeling experiment and prove or disprove your assumption scientifically instead of assuming that you are right and the IPCC authors, the reviewers and the PBL (and Arnell himself) are not ?

wrong calculation Which wrong calculation are you talking about ?

wrong date That's right. Should have been 2025 (or 2020's) instead of 2020.

And about the Pachauri speech, you are talking about one word that he missed in one speech (while having his slides correct) ?

A missed "'s" in the SPM and a missed word in (only the audio part) of a speech. You call that a "gobsmacking level of institutional incompetence and/or bias." ? What's going on here, Vinny ?

Incidentally, where is your reference to the audio (or video) of that speech at the Nansen Conference ?

Vinny Burgoo said...

MH: 'You write here that Tables 10, 11 and 12 of Arnell (2004) deal with the projected effects of both climate change and population growth. What makes you think so?'

Arnell 2004 said in several places that the differences between the various 2055 projections in Table 10 were due mostly to different population assumptions. Therefore population growth was included. Summing Tables 11 and 12 gives the numbers in Table 10 (with small rounding differences). Therefore the three tables used the same data. Therefore the African '75 to 250 million' included population growth. See pages 31, 42 and 51. There are other indications, but those passages should be enough to convince you.

MH contd: 'How do you interpret the expressions "increase in stress" and "decrease in stress"?'

Move up or down the stress categories as defined by Arnell.

MH contd: 'And which statements in Arnell (2004) make you think that population growth is the larger effect?'

I might have messed this one up. I can't now find anything in Arnell 2004 saying that population growth dominated the African projections in Table 11 and I don't think it's possible to use the data in the paper to find out which was the dominant factor (pop. growth, economic development or climate change), so I'll withdraw this one.

(Although I can't resist mentioning that under the B2 scenario - the source of the '75 to 250 million' - Africa's population doubles between 1995 and 2025.)

Vinny Burgoo said...

Werner, #85: That sort of thing makes my head hurt (particularly as I've lost my spectacles). In what way was your comment a reality check? What is the metaphor? And all points in between.

Vinny Burgoo said...

Rob (#90): 'Jee, Vinny, how do you get to such extreme opinions so quickly?'

I have watered down one of my objections (see above) so I'll downgrade 'gobsmacking' to 'eye-popping'. Is that better?

Rob: 'Dude, this is ONE sentence in the SPM (and in SOME of Pachauri's speeches), based on the best available peer-reviewed data available at the time ...'

Bald numbers derived from a heavily caveat-ed, hugely uncertain regional projection have no place in the SYR's Summary for POLICYMAKERS. ('Peer-reviewed data'? I doubt it.)

And can't you see that Dr Pachauri's repeated use of this sentence makes it more than just one sentence among thousands? He doesn't repeatedly trot out the whole of the SYR SPM. He trots out his favourite snippets. I'm not going to analyse all of his speeches but I suspect that this snippet is in his top ten. However, let's say it's in his top 100. That would make it - in the minds of the head of the IPCC, of all the activists and activist-journalists who report and amplify his words. and of the many POLICYMAKERS who take him seriously - among the 100 most important statements in AR4. Not good.

AR4's authors screwed up (again) but this error might have quietly faded away had 'Patchy' not kept promoting it. But he has kept it alive - and indeed has given it everlasting life. It's all over the Web. It's one of the big scare stories that people like to amaze each other with. And it's wrong.

'... and it's not even shown to be incorrect.'

See my response to MH for the 'wrongly ascribed to climate change alone' thing.

See the Dutch PBL report (page 53) for the 'wrong calculation'.

'Wrong date': This problem gets less trivial by the year.

Videos of Dr Pachauri's two Nansen speeches are available at www.nansenconference.no. There's also a PDF of the slides he showed during his second speech. (He misrepresented the Agoumi stuff in both speeches but the Arnell '75 to 250 million' misrepresentations only made it into the second.)

Rob Dekker said...

Vinny, I think it's time we get this issue out of the way, and let me note that this is the first time in this thread that we actually need to look into the guts of Arnell 2004 to get a point of confusion resolved.

So here we go. At the core of your argument, you said :

Arnell 2004 said in several places that the differences between the various 2055 projections in Table 10 were due mostly to different population assumptions. Therefore population growth was included.

Well, yes and no. Here is the deal :

Arnell calculates water-stress in number of people. So when we calculate the number of people that will experience an increase in water-stress due to climate change, then obviously the population numbers are the determining factor.

You can see that if you divide the numbers in Table 10 (the number of people experiencing an increase or decrease in water-stress due to climate change) by the numbers in Table 8 (the number of people living in water-stressed areas). You will see that percentage is relatively constant.

It kind of makes sense that this would be the case. After all, if the run-off in a particular area reduces, then everyone there experiences increased water stress. The exact amount of people affected by climate change thus depends much on the number of people living there. The amount of increased water stress for all these people of course depends on the amount of reduction in run-off in that area.

So I think MH's remark about absence of a table in Arnell 2004 that shows the 'quantification' and/or 'significance' of the increase in water-stress is good and we can certainly discuss that further. But do you now see that Table 11 reports the number of people who will experience an increase in water-stress due to climate change (under various population/climate models and different regions and different dates) and that thus the IPCC SPM statement is correct, as is ?

After all, if this projection comes true, these people WILL have less water than they would have without climate change (caused by our GHG emissions).

Does this make sense ?

Rob Dekker said...

..while they are already living in a water-stressed area and dependent mostly on rain-fed agriculture, and in general much more vulnerable to percipitation and temperature changes than we are in the developed world. So I would not call Pachauri's emphesis on Africa an significant concern for a vulnerable region of the world, sustained by projections from peer-reviewed literature, instead of "eye-popping level of institutional incompetence and/or bias" as you call this.

wflamme said...

Rob (#94): "After all, if this projection comes true, these people WILL have less water than they would have without climate change (caused by our GHG emissions).

Does this make sense ?"

Well, it depends wheather the tables 11+12 you refer to show the transition effects from 'Future Population Under No Climate Change' to 'Future Population Under Climate Change' for every storyline ... or something else.

Much (if not all) confusion, guesswork and discussion could have been avoided if Arnell had additionally provided SI/FTP with the raw data obtained for these 1300 watersheds:
- assigned region
- population estimates: present, 2025, 2055, 2085
- runoff estimates for models and emission szenarios used (~20)

This makes a ~1300x26 table, ~250kB CSV.

I'm going to ask Dr Arnell whether such or even more extensive documentation could be provided.

MH said...

@Vinny Burgoo

Thanks for your reply. Sorry about the 'Vincent'. I don't know where I got that from.

'Arnell 2004 said in several places that the differences between the various 2055 projections in Table 10 were due mostly to different population assumptions.Therefore population growth was included'

The individual numbers in Tables 9-12 only represent the climate effect (see my interpretation). The differences between the various 2055 projections are due to the use of different climate models (HadCM3, CSIRO, ...) and for a given climate model they are due to the use of different SRES scenarios (A2, B2, ...). Each scenario contains a population number and emissions parameters. The input for a model is not a scenario but population + emissions parameters. Thus we can for example input A2.population and B2.emissions to a model. Let f(population,emissions) be the value that is output by a given model when population+emissions is input. Then for A2 and B2 we get the projections f(A2.population,A2.emissions) and f(B2.population,B2.emissions). These projections are different because A2.population=/=B2.population and A2.emissions=/=B2.emissions. Arnell then examines whether the difference is mainly due to different populations or to different emissions (or to a combination of the two) by keeping the population (emissions) constant and varying the emissions (population). Thus for each climate model he calculates the four values:

f(A2.population,A2.emissions),
f(A2.population,B2.emissions),
f(B2.population,A2.emissions),
f(B2.population,B2.emissions),

and then compares them. These values are displayed in figure 8 by means of a bar graph. The hight of the first and last bar in each quadruple corresponding to the values f(A2.population,A2.emissions) and f(B2.population,B2.emissions) can be read off from Table 10.

So the population effect discussed by Arnell only comes into play when we consider different scenarios. However the numbers on a given line in Table 10 are all computed for the same scenario and thus for the same population. They represent a pure climate effect. And this is also true for Tables 11 and 12. So each individual number in the first five lines of Table 11 (those for Africa) represents a pure climate effect and so do the totals of each column.

The statement that 'By 2020, between 75 and 250 million of people are projected to be exposed to increased water stress due to climate change' (the exact values are 74 and 239 and they are for 2025) is a correct representation of Table 11 in the sense that the individual totals for Africa for the given combinations of scenario and model are within this range. Moreover, each individual total represents a pure climate effect.

It should however be noted that from table 12 we can deduce in the same way that 'By 2020, between 11 and 175 million of people are projected to enjoy decreased water stress due to climate change'. The fact that the Summary for Policymakers does not make this statement is highly significant.

As to the interpretation of the expressions "increase in stress" and "decrease in stress". If you consider only moves down the stress categories as an increase in stress then a reduction from 400 to 300 does not qualify as an increase in stress but a reduction from 1710 to 1690 would. This is hardly acceptable. It is more plausible to consider a reduction in water availabily as an increase in stress only if the reduction takes place within the stressed category and on the other hand to consider every reduction there to be an increase in stress.

Vinny Burgoo said...

Rob, #94: 'Does this make sense?'

Not at this end, no. Not as a rebuttal of the claim that the Arnell-derived African '75 to 250 million' estimate is wrongly attributed to climate change alone.

But I've always had a nagging feeling that I'm blind to something very obvious. So please try again.

Vinny Burgoo said...

@wflamme #96: Good luck with that.

Rob Dekker said...

Vinny, let me try this another way. Given a certain population at some point in time (2025 or 2055 for A1, A2, B2 etc population scenario's), the tables 9, 10 and 11 refer to the number of people that experience an 'increase' in water-stress, caused by a reduction in run-off (where run-off is clearly a result of climate change alone).

Arnell clarifies that when he writes

Substantially more people in water-stressed watersheds experience an increase in water stress due to a reduction in runoff, than move into the water-stressed category (Table 9). By the 2020s, 829 million people experience an increase in water
stress under the A1 world, and between 615 and 1661 million, 395 million and 508–592 million experience increases in stress under the A2, B1 and B2 worlds, re-
spectively.


So these numbers from table 9 (and 10 and 11) refer to people living in water-stressed areas who will experience an increase/decrease in water stress due to a change in the climate expected for their 'world' (A1 population - A1 climate, A2 population - A2 climate etc).

Does THAT make sense ?

Rob Dekker said...

Sorry : please replace "table 9, 10 and 11" by "table 10, 11 and 12" in my text above.

Table 9 refers to the number of people who become (or no longer are in) a water-stressed category if climate changes according to some (A1,A2,B1,B2) climate change scenario. That (table 9) number is small compared to the people living in water stressed areas that will experience reduction in run-off due to climate change (table 10, 11 and 12), as Arnell's text above clarifies.

So the main cause of the 75-250 number (from table 11) is due to people living in water-stressed areas that will experience reduced run-off under the various climate scenarios.

That should make sense.

Rob Dekker said...

wflamme said Much (if not all) confusion, guesswork and discussion could have been avoided if Arnell had additionally provided SI/FTP with the raw data obtained for these 1300 watersheds

Nice to meet you 'wflamme'. Let me note that so far, there has not been any 'confusion, guesswork and discussion' about Arnell 2004 itself. That is because so far, the bloggers and journalists dealing with this issue did not contest the findings of Arnell 2004 at all. Some examples :

Heller (right here) needed to remove the word "increased" from the IPCC statements and then argued that the IPCC made the "error" (see post #73).

North did not even mention Arnell 2004, only contested Agoumi 2003.

Leake did not mention Arnell 2004 either (also only mentioned Agoumi 2003) and by now seems to be completely confused about what the AfricaGate that he invented was all about any way. See his comments and subsequent replies from me and Vinny in this post :
http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2011/12/rahmstorf_the_journo_and_the_a.php

Meichsner (did I spell that correctly, Werner?) could not find the Arnell 2004 reference, but still used her own own incompetance in tracing the reference to argue that this "scandal" is "in a different league altogether" because this time Pachauri was "personally involved". Go figure..

Since none of the bloggers disputes Arnell 2004, this brings up the question (again) of why we are are even arguing about this uncontested peer-reviewed paper and not about the assumptions and scientific ignorance of the bloggers and journalists who report wild accusations against the IPCC without even be able to find the reference to Arnell 2004 let alone contest its findings or understand the analysis performed therein...

Anonymous said...

@Rob Dekker

This seems to be very difficult to understand for some people, isn't it?

You try to say that Pachauri can tell us absolute nonesense and all his critics are morones?

Hmpff, very special view imo.

Anonymous said...

Arnell 2004 says :

"Key conclusions:

Climate change increases water resources stresses in
some watersheds, but decreases them in others. If
the absolute numbers of people living in waterstressed
watersheds was taken as the indicator of
water resources stress, then climate change would
appear to reduce global water resources pressures
because more watersheds move out of the stressed
class than move into it."

... ...

"The estimated impact of climate change on global
water resources depends least on the rate of future
emissions, and most on the climate model used to
estimate changes in climate and the assumed
future population."

Until 2025 I can't see anything alarming. (Yeph)

Caveats:

"The net effect of all these caveats is that the numerical
estimates of the implications of climate change on future
water resources stresses are not to be taken too literally.
Rather, the numbers in the tables can be used to indicate
the relative effects of different emissions, climate and
population scenarios."

"Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the actual
impact of the effects of climate change on water scarcity
will depend on how water resources are managed in the
future. This will vary between the SRES storylines,
depending not only on economic prosperity but also
attitudes towards environmental management and
protection."

Yeph

MH said...

@Rob Dekker

1) The original africagate from Richard North does indeed not mention Arnell (2004). It is about the statement that 'By 2020, in some countries, yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50%' and if I interpret the PBL comment in the PBL report at the bottom of page 53 correctly then North was essentially right. I don't see any debunking there.

2) Do you agree that by mentioning the '75 and 250 million ... increased water stress' but not the '11 and 175 million ... decreased water stress' (see my comment here) the IPCC report shows a significant bias?

3) You still haven't answered my question (original statement here).

wflamme said...

Rob,

well if Peter Heller made some statements but later on needed to correct himself because of criticism, I would conclude that he was probably confused initially.

MH stated the paper being 'a bit obscure', having 'quite some difficulty in understanding it'. At least he 'thinks there is a plausible interpretation' for the tables (which is still somewhat different from validation).

I am confused, too. Usually things brighten when I read a paper several times but not here.
And just from regional aggregation of per-category transitions and relative changes inside selected categories, plausibility of singular statements is hard to attest (for me). Given the premises, are the conclusions true and the findings balanced? I don't know yet.

Regarding attribution I need to learn eg how category transitions change if the present population were exposed to futue climate changes and if these several future populations were exposed to present climate. How to pull that natural information from the tables given?
I could really need some instructions by people apparently smarter than me (given Arnell's basic tables however, I could do it in no time myself).

Rob Dekker said...

wflamme well if Peter Heller made some statements but later on needed to correct himself because of criticism, I would conclude that he was probably confused initially.

If he was 'confused' initially, then his value judgements against the IPCC and Pachauri expressed in his two blogs and various comments would have been premature, don't you think ?

I think Peter was not confused at all. I think he knew exactly what he was doing, and the various places where he verifiably misleads are testimony to that.

wflamme said I am confused, too. Usually things brighten when I read a paper several times but not here.

I'm sorry that that you are having a hard time understanding Arnell 2004. Arnell presents a lot of data, and I think there are areas where he could certainly have clarified what exactly each table means more clearly. But note that neither the reviewers of the Arnell 2004 paper, nor the PBL scientists, nor the IPCC authors nor their reviewer had too much difficulty in interpreting the paper and tables 10,11 and 12 specifically.

Also, did my added explanations in post 94 and 100 help ?

Finally, his message is very simple. Climate change models project changes in run-off (See for example fig.2 and 3 for 2050). Obviously, if you live in and area that is already water-stress, then these changes in run-off will cause and "increase" in water stress for you. Table 11 shows how many people are affected by that.

But failure to understand Arnell 2004 is no reason to misrepresent the analysis or the IPCC's representation of that in the AR4.

As I stated before (post #25) :

can't we expect people to FIRST investigate their own assumptions and ask questions BEFORE crying foul and venting extrapolating judgements about the entire IPCC report or the IPCC in general

And that applies to Heller as well as Meichsner (who failed to even find the Arnell 2004 reference) and various other bloggers and commenters on this subject (yes Vinny, that includes you too).

Rob Dekker said...

Yeph, if you have a point to make, then please make it. So far, your posts here seem to consist of ad hominems only.

Anonymous said...

@Rob Dekker

You try to say that Arnell is not clear about the things he said? Or do you try to say that what Pachauri said is exactly what Arnell says in his paper of 2004?

As far as I understand Arnell, he says that "over the next 25 years
climate change would have less effect on change in water
resources stresses than population and water demand
growth." citing Vörösmarty et al.

He explains what I posted above "Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the actual
impact of the effects of climate change on water scarcity
will depend on how water resources are managed in the
future."

As far as I understand these things and as far as I know why some people live in water stressed regions, my conclusion is that we have to prevent population growth in some regions, protect the environment in some other regions and so on.

The least important thing and the one we can't really prevent is climate change.

And Arnell explains also "Climate change must be seen in the context of multidecadal
variability, which will lead to different amounts
of water being available over different time periods even
in the absence of climate change."

What Pachaury says has imo nothing to do with these scenarios and is imo complete nonesense or pure activism.

And if you consider all the ifs and whens of these papers it means that we can't really pretend to know anything about climate and water stress for the next 20 years.

http://www.scinexx.de/wissen-aktuell-12707-2010-12-14.html

„Über die Dynamik des heutigen Regenbandes über Afrika wissen wir nur wenig und immer wieder tauchen Unstimmigkeiten zwischen den wissenschaftlich gewonnenen Klimadaten und den theoretischen Klimamodellen auf.“ erklärt Geologe Collins.

Things change without climate change and we don't know how they change with climate change.

Is Pachauri right? It's exactly like glacier gate. Pure exaggeration imho.

Is that ad hominem? Do I have the right to have an opinion? As you do?

Thank you.

Yeph

wflamme said...

Rob,

as I said before I'm still confused. There's simply too much prose and too little detailed data available (yet).

Please consider my first request as an example: I want to assess the effects of climate change alone, no population changes involved. So what will the category transitions look like if today's population underwent ... say ... a A2/2055/ECHAM/Run1 climate? Where do I find that in the tables?

Vinny Burgoo said...

MH (#97), Rob (#101, #102): I can't see the logic in your arguments. You both say that the projections in Tables 10, 11 and 12 show a pure climate-change effect rather than CC plus population growth and, in support of this, point out that the different scenarios use different population assumptions and (MH only) that this was what Arnell was talking about when he said that by 2055 population assumptions dominated the (global) projections. Well, yes. But that surely supports rather than overturns the view that the projections include both CC and pop. growth. Any population assumption other than 'static' means that population growth is part of the effect, and the various scenarios all assume strongly positive population growth for Africa until 2055 and beyond. (It's possible that Arnell assumed that the populations of some African watersheds would be static or even shrink in some scenarios, but this is very unlikely.) The various projections do indeed show the pure climate effect on a population assumed for a particular year but that population has grown. More people living in a water-stressed watershed means less water to go around, so even if the run-off stays the same you'll see increases in water-stress.

Or perhaps not. I goofed on the meaning of increased/decreased water stress. This doesn't mean populations moving up or down the different stress categories. As MH pointed out, that would be daft. Rather, an increase/decrease is the number of already water-stressed people whose available water is expected to rise/fall by a 'significant' amount. 'Significant' is defined on page 38 and is all about departures from the established natural variability of gross runoff in a particular watershed. This seems a bit odd. Arnell was aiming at a threshold for significant departures from per capita runoff. At what stage does population come into it?

I suppose you two will tell me that it doesn't.

Peter Heller said...

@ Flamme, #105:

"well if Peter Heller made some statements but later on needed to correct himself because of criticism, I would conclude that he was probably confused initially."

I am not confused and I have not corrected myself.

wflamme said...

@Peter,

my heartiest congratulations for your promotion to the Club of Bright Minds then.

Sad to say I still don't join - still need practical guidance re my previous request (January 11, 2012 6:40 PM) so I can hopefully seperate the mixed effects of population change and climate change in the paper.

MH said...

@Vinny Burgoo #110

Let P be the population and C be the amount of climate change. Let N(P,C) be the number of people living in stressed watersheds if the population is P and the amount of climate change is C. Then the numbers in table 9 are DN(P,C) = N(P,C) - N(P,0). For a given population P this number gives the additional number of people living in a stressed watershed when climate change increases from 0 to C and the population remains constant. For C = 0 we have DN(P,0) = 0 for all P. The effect DN(P,C) depends on both P and C. From figure 8 we conclude that DN(P,C) varies little with C but a lot with P. Thus, for a given P and C the effect DN(P,C) is a pure climate effect. It is the effect of C on N. The population effect in figure 8 is the effect of P on DN, not the effect of P on N.

I don't understand your comment about the 'threshold for significant departures'.

Rob Dekker said...

wflamme said I want to assess the effects of climate change alone, no population changes involved. So what will the category transitions look like if today's population underwent ... say ... a A2/2055/ECHAM/Run1 climate? Where do I find that in the tables?

I don't think that particular configuration is in Arnell's tables. He simply did not list the 'no-polulation increase' scenario in the the projection. Only the 'no climate change' scenario, and population increase scenarios.

Did you consider replicating the simulation ?

Rob Dekker said...

Vinny said I goofed on the meaning of increased/decreased water stress.

That's a man ! You just recovered some respect with me (after you pretty much destroying it with your silly "gobsmacking/eyepopping level of institutional incompetence and/or bias" accusations).

and an increase/decrease is the number of already water-stressed people whose available water is expected to rise/fall by a 'significant' amount.

Now you are on the right track.

wflamme said...

Rob,

in #102 you stated: "Let me note that so far, there has not been any 'confusion, guesswork and discussion' about Arnell 2004 itself."

Well, either there is guesswork involved now or you should be able to firmly tell me wether Arnell did/didn't consider and document this and - if so - where.

In case it hasn't, I don't know how proper attribution assessment could be performed.

The present situation ...

a) no climate change (yet) = present climate

b) no population change (yet) = present population

... siply presents the very baseline to compare effects of changes in population and/or climate against. If missing, the 2x2 contingency table is incomplete.

wflamme said...

Btw, Rob, I haven't considered a replication yet because then I needed to replicate and verify both the hydrological impact model and the hydrological runoff model as well.
So in case Arnell can't or won't provide the basic results table for his 2004 paper then he probably wouldn't supply me with the information needed to replicate and verify these models either.

Actually I had considered digitizing watershed runoffs from the world maps provided for a moment but:
- there are no high resulution/lossless graphics documented
- map collections are incomplete
- results are discrete, not continuous
- 'region' is not strictly defined in the paper.

Thus even if my results would differ considerably from Arnell's one might still argue that Arnell has got it right and me 'somehow' wrong. It's close to impossible to refute detailed results that are handed out along with incomplete documentation only. FOIA, anyone? :-)

Vinny Burgoo said...

MH (#113), you're overcomplicating things. Table 9 is irrelevant to the '75 to 250 million' claim. More generally, you've blinded yourself with maths notation. Take a step back and ask yourself whether a per capita measure can ever be be independent of population.

Rob (#115), if I'm on the right track, please guide me to its end. Explain how the definitions of increased/decreased water stress in Arnell 2004 mean that population increases aren't implicit in Tables 10, 11 and 12.

I think I'll end with this. We've trampled on the declared aims of this thread for long enough. If continuation is necessary, how about the Rahmstorf thread at Stoat's? He needs the traffic.

wflamme said...

Rob,

re Vinny's statement of 'goofing' the meaning of increase/decrease: Arnell himself then isn't consistent with both meanings (average stress, variability stress) throughout his paper.

Rob Dekker said...

wflamme

Thus even if my results would differ considerably from Arnell's one might still argue that Arnell has got it right and me 'somehow' wrong.

Don't be afraid. That argument would only emerge if you actually debunk something that Arnell 2004 presented.

But since you want to 'debunk' something that Arnell did not even show, let alone dispute, nor anything that the IPCC used in their assessment, then one might argue that you came up with something entirely new, and so far unexplored. I think you should give it a try and submit a paper with your findings to a reputable, peer-reviewed journal. If you hurry, and get your paper approved soon, and manipulate the peer-review process a bit (where is de Freitas when you need him?) wflamme et al 2012 may make it into the AR5. Good luck !

It's close to impossible to refute detailed results that are handed out along with incomplete documentation only. FOIA, anyone? :-)

Not just "close", wflamme. It it will be simply "impossible" to scientifically refute a paper if you don't understand it. Since you now mentioned several times that you are confused about Arnell 2004, and you don't mention anything specific in the conclusions that you want to debunk, let alone which unspecified 'detailed results' you dispute, indeed your best option to cast doubt on the science would be to file an FOIA request against Arnell. Does not matter what you ask for. If you get something, you can either argue that you did not get everything, and if you don't get anything, then you can argue that Arnell is hiding info. Either way you win. You can then start posting your 'findings' in your blogs and don't forget to add some smear statements against Arnell personally, and that he is part of a "Team" that suppresses information to the public. Also, don't forget that he is taking public money (Arnell works for a University) and thus he is using OUR tax money to publish deceptive information with the intent to generate more grant money. Be sure to mention the term 'alarmist' on your blogs, since that will get you the blessing of the self-proclaimed public climate auditors, who have the access to the big political propaganda media, that have the leverage to spin your story into a fabricated "-gate" scandal that can go global.

It's all been done before.

Günter Heß said...

Dear Rob Dekker,

Most of us know Wolfgang Flamme to be a honest broker, who is well known to assess data in a honest way.
How about that You start using scientific arguments here.

Best regards
Günter Heß

Rob Dekker said...

Dear Gunther Hess,

I will start using honest scientific arguments, once there is an honest scientific dispute.

So far, Wolfgang asks for (post #109) :

what will the category transitions look like if today's population underwent ... say ... a A2/2055/ECHAM/Run1 climate? Where do I find that in the tables?

Even though this data is not needed for Arnell's conclusions, nor for the IPCC statement that was based on Arnell's work, I still answer him gently when I stated (post #114) that I "think" that the data he asks for is not presented in Arnell 2004. Then, Wolfgang immediately postulates that now there is "guesswork" involved or else "you should be able to firmly tell me wether Arnell did/didn't consider and document this and - if so - where", and make no attempt to answer his own question.

Followed promptly by some excuses on why he should not even try himself to find or replicate the data he is looking for in Arnell 2004, complaints about the resolution of the pictures in Arnell 2004 and some other information that he believes he needs, and nicely non-scientifically closed with the suggestion that a FOIA should be filed against Nigel Arnell.

If that's an "honest broker" who uses an "assess data in a honest way", using scientific arguments, then I'm sorry, but I probably do not want to be part of the group you designate as "most of us".

Günter Heß said...

Dear Rob Dekker,

you write to Wolfgang Flamme in #120:
„You can then start posting your 'findings' in your blogs and don't forget to add some smear statements against Arnell personally, and that he is part of a "Team" that suppresses information to the public. Also, don't forget that he is taking public money (Arnell works for a University) and thus he is using OUR tax money to publish deceptive information with the intent to generate more grant money.“

Please point me to the words in Wolfgang Flammes text that support and justify this implication and interpretation of yours.

For my opinion that is just your interpretation of his words and your own prejudice about other people in the blogosphere. Wolfgang Flamme never hinted things like that.
I dislike and despise this way of gentle interpretation of the words of other people, you showed in #120, and thought maybe you misunderstood Wolfgang Flamme and his intentions. Therefore I told you my experiences and that of others with him, so you could correct your premature picture and get back to a more scientific discussion. So, it is your choice not mine.
Best regards
Günter Heß

wflamme said...

Rob,

don't be so awkward now. Not everyone shares missionary ambitions or favours dupery.
I'm also not a broker, I neither receive nor give orders nor is there any brokerage involved.

For now I am about to make up my mind whether population effects or climate change may pose a greater effect on water scarity - given (not yet really, regrettably) the simulated results by Arnell. That's why I discuss that matter here, seizing and testing hypotheses against those of others.

From your last posting I learn that you can't or won't assist me no further at that - instead turning sarcastic, authorative, evasive and ad hom. So thank you for your help until now but I refuse to deal with upcoming distractions and destructions.

wflamme said...

PS:

@All

As everyone is free to inspect, up until now these probably irritating keywords (for some at least) were completely absent from my postings in this discussion:

"IPCC, Pachauri, AfricaGate, AR4, AR5, Meichsner, Rahmstorf"

Why Rob Dekker keeps on casting doubt on my motives simply is beyond me.

Rob Dekker said...

Why Rob Dekker keeps on casting doubt on my motives simply is beyond me.

It's really not so hard to understand your motives, Wolfgang, since you are quite explicit about them.

For starters, you have not disputed nor confirmed ANY scientific finding made in Arnell 2004.

Instead, here is a summary of your argument :

what will the category transitions look like if today's population underwent ... say ... a A2/2055/ECHAM/Run1 climate?

there is guesswork involved now or you should be able to firmly tell me wether Arnell did/didn't consider and document this and - if so - where

I haven't considered a replication yet because then I needed to replicate and verify both the hydrological impact model and the hydrological runoff model as well.

in case Arnell can't or won't provide the basic results table for his 2004 paper then he probably wouldn't supply me with the information needed to replicate and verify these models either.

- there are no high resulution/lossless graphics documented
- map collections are incomplete
- results are discrete, not continuous
- 'region' is not strictly defined in the paper.


It's close to impossible to refute detailed results that are handed out, along with incomplete documentation only.

FOIA, anyone? :-)

Why would anyone with good intentions suggest to file a FOIA request at a scientist who published an paper 8 years ago which remained uncontested (not even discussed on blogs for 8 years), to obtain data which was not even needed for the conclusions of the paper, without showing any willingness to do any scientific work whatsoever to 'refute' the findings ?

What IS your motive here, Wolfgang, since it very much sounds like you have no scientific argument to present at all, and instead want to case doubt on the Arnell 2004 findings without doing any work, distrust Arnell even before you asked him for help, and explore disingenuous political tactics (FOIA) to further amplify your unspecified suspicions.

Rob Dekker said...

Also, I find your follow-up description of your 'motive' rather indicative :

For now I am about to make up my mind whether population effects or climate change may pose a greater effect on water scarity - given (not yet really, regrettably) the simulated results by Arnell. That's why I discuss that matter here, seizing and testing hypotheses against those of others.

Well, let's look at the abstract from Arnell 2004 for now :

In the absence of climate change, the future population in water-stressed watersheds depends on population scenario and by 2025 ranges from 2.9 to 3.3 billion people (36-40% of the world’s population). By 2055 5.6 billion people would live in water-stressed watersheds under the A2 population future, and ‘only’ 3.4 billion under A1/B1.

Climate change effects (calculated in number of people) is also mentioned in the abstract :

By the 2050s there is still little difference between the emissions scenarios, but the different population assumptions have a clear effect. Under the A2 population between 1092 and 2761 million people have an increase in stress; under the B2 population the range is 670-1538 million, respectively.

Thus, if you would have just read the abstract, you would have found not have to pretend that you still needed to "make up your mind". The answer is right there in the paper (even in the abstract), and your remark "given (not really, regrettably)" is thus also verifiably false.

So, you either did not read or completely misunderstood the abstract (which would be grossly incompetent), or decided to deliberately cast doubt on the results presented by Arnell (which would be disingenuous and dishonest, to say it kindly).

Neither one of these two scenarios confirms Gunther Hess' assessment of your reputation that you are "well known to assess data in a honest way" so please genuinely explain where my reasoning goes wrong.

Or just tell us which findings exactly (which data, which methods, which conclusions) it is that you DO dispute scientifically.

wflamme said...

Rob,

in my very first posting here (#96!) I noticed that lengthy dispute and supposed it could be settled if more detailed documentation would be available for that paper. I decided to politely ask Arnell if he could provide it.

So I'm awaiting reply.

Anonymous said...

@Rob Dekker

You forget one important point:

"Climate change must be seen in the context of multidecadal
variability, which will lead to different amounts
of water being available over different time periods even
in the absence of climate change."

Did you really believe that the himalayian glaciers would disappear by 2035?

Do you really believe that from manmade climate change alone by 2020 "in some countries of Africa yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50 percent"?

Arnell cites : "over the next 25 years climate change would have less effect on change in water
resources stresses than population and water demand growth." Vörösmarty et al.

So what do YOU understand when you read Arnell 2004?

That this reduction of 50% could be prevented if we stopped Co2 emissions now?

Or do you read that the effect of climate change alone is very small for the next 10 - 20 years and that above all weather patterns and population changes are the reason for the changes in water stress?

My conlusion is that we have to prevent population growth in water stressed regions and that the reason for this water stress is not manmade climate change but manmade population growth and pollution.

This would mean that overpopulation is a much bigger problem than most of the people think. Just what I tried to explain on this blog over and over again. Climate change is imo just one small part of this bigger problem.

And again, if I read what you write and what some climate scientists write, I wonder who doesn't understand what.

Yeph

Rob Dekker said...

And again, if I read what you write and what some climate scientists write, I wonder who doesn't understand what.

Yes. I wonder about that too.

Anonymous said...

@Rob Dekker

You wrote "Each one repeating the same "AfricaGate" mime that has been spinned and re-spinned and then had to be (and was) debunked over and over again, ad nauseam."

As far as I read this thread nothing has been debunked. There is nothing really complicated about the things explained in Arnell 2004.

The only problem remains that we can't find anything that would tell us that the "AfricaGate"-mime has been debunked or that Pachauri was right.

Neither you nor "Andreas" can explain us where the Pachauri-mime can be found in Arnell 2004, nor can you explain us in any way that things will change dramatically during the next 8 years.

Thinking that manmade climate change will change things dramatically in 8 years and can be predicted on a regional scale is just ridiculous, just as riciculous as the glacier-melt nonsense.

You don't even speak about this:

"characterising change in 30-year mean climate relative to 1961–1990 by the 2020s (2010–2039),
2050s (2040–2069) and 2080s (2070–2099)."

Pachauri may have meant by the 2020s and not "by 2020"?

But he said by 2020.

And does it make sense when we extend the Pachauri-mime to 2039? Do you find these numbers in Arnell's tables? Can you debunk Peter Heller or Wolfgang Flamme?

Why don't YOU tell us what YOU believed or what you believe now, knowing Arnell 2004 better than before?

And why don't you apologize for your rude manners on this blog?

Running away like "Andreas" is of absolutely no help.

Yeph

Rob Dekker said...

I realize that nowhere in this thread did we actually mention how the IPCC statement in question originates from to Arnell 2004, and how a 'AfricaGate' 'scandal' was created from that information trail.

So let's summarize : It all started with this statement in the AR4 SPM, where the IPCC declared, in their Africa section :

By 2020, between 75 and 250 million of people are projected to be exposed to increased water stress due to climate change.

This statement originated from the modeling study done in Arnell 2004, where the range 75 - 250 million people is easily reproduced by finding the low-end and high-end numbers in table 12 in the paper.
http://mfs.uchicago.edu/troubledwaters/readings/arnell.pdf

The "By 2020" should have read "By the 2020's" or "By 2025", but that is about as much as the IPCC statement diverted from the findings in Arnell 2004.

Since the statement is so directly derived from a peer-reviewed scientific paper, you would not think that anyone would have a problem with that statement.

And in fact very few did. Even North and Leake did not mention Arnell 2004.

In fact, of the professional journalists, only Meichsner referred to the IPCC statement above. And when she was (for some completely un explicable reason) unable to trace back the scientific reference at the basis of this IPCC statement, she accused the IPCC of "glaring errors of his organization" and because Pachauri used the statement in his presentations, that this time, the "scandal" is "in a different league altogether" because this time Pachauri was "personally involved".

Only when Rahmstorf mentioned Arnell 2004 as the scientific basis for this one sentence in the IPCC AR4 WGII SPM, did Arnell 2004 come into the picture. That's why we are having this thread now.

A thread full of accusations against the IPCC, Pachauri, and Arnell, and no argument at all that challenges the above statement of facts.

Meanwhile, Arnell 2004 is just one study out of thousands which show that climates will be shifting under increasing GHG emissions, and that Africa is no exception, and in fact may be especially vulnerable. How many millions will be affected, and exactly which areas will be most negatively affected, that we don't know for sure, and Arnell's wide range of 75 - 250 million is testimony to that uncertainty.

The terms "AfricaGate" and "scandal" so lightly used by some journalists are completely fabricated value opinions. The IPCC statement above is a correct reflection of the modeling study done in Arnell 2004, which is sustained by numerous similar modeling studies done earlier and later.

Overall, these modeling studies simply show warnings that our GHG emissions will cause changes that will substantially affect the food production and water scarcity of people on other continents more vulnerable to climate change than we are, and Africa specifically.

And that's all folks.

Hans von Storch said...

Rob, you are making it a little to easy, by declaring yourself the holder of truth in this matter. I am presently traveling and thus handicapped in my response abilities. But let me try to explain in brief:

We have do assess different issues - first the Arnell-paper, its internal consistency (which I find by and large fine) and the plausibility(adequacy of the assumptions (which I find not trivial). While I find the global Arnell study reasonable (within its assumed frame), I would hope for the availability of specific regional studies, which operate with less assumptions and less broad ad-hoc Ansätzen, and which show that Arnell's Ansatz is ok.

- second the assessment by the IPCC of the significance of the paper at the time of the cut-off- Has the IPCC taken into account all other papers, or was there only (? - do I remember correctly: only) Arnell (2004) at the time of the cut-off date? Was it in order to consider Arnell as sufficient evidence for using the claim of additional people becoming water stressed as in well-publicized assertions by the chair of IPCC?
Have regional studied validating Arnbell's studies on a smaller scale been listed in the IPCC report?

I am a bit confused about the AfricaGate-claim, which I remember as having something to do specifically with Africa and North Africa. Is it possible to refute the claim of unprofessional coverage of that African issue in the IPCC by referring to Arnell?

While you are certainly free to consider yourself as being right, you should not believe that others, who possibly do not follow your arguments share your assertion. I did not have the time to join the debate since early January.

MH said...

@Rob Dekker

'Meanwhile, Arnell 2004 is just one study out of thousands which show that climates will be shifting under increasing GHG emissions,...'

As far as I understand, the input for Arnell's study is not the GHG emissions but the output of the climate models. If I am right about that then Arnell does not show at all that climates will be shifting under increasing GHG emissions.

Rob Dekker said...

MH, yes, you are right.
Arnell is indeed not part of the thousands of studies that show that climates will be shifting under increased GHG emissions, but instead is part of the thousands of studies that shows which impact these projected climate changes are projected to have the various regions of this planet.

Rob Dekker said...

Hans, welcome back to the discussion, and thank you for your response.

This is the first time that I actively engage on your blog in depth, and it has been a very interesting (and at time entertaining) experience. I am always interested in to get to the core of the assumptions that cloud our opinions, and have tried to uncover these assumptions (in some cases successfully, I think), meanwhile respecting everyone's opinion, as I hope you see witnessed on this blog.

And there have been many opinions expressed on this thread, indeed.

I certainly are not declaring myself the holder of truth as you suggest, but would like to note that not everything is opinion.

For example, now that we know for a fact that the IPCC statement (which I quoted in post 133), is sustained by Arnell 2004, (table 11 actually), which explicit allegations against the IPCC and Pachauri personally, as expressed by Meichsner and various commenters on this blog do you still find credible and which do you think are not ?

Rob Dekker said...

Hans, I noticed that my last post was removed after it was posted. Did it end up in the spam filter with a 30 min delay ?

Hans von Storch said...

Rob, was the missing one #137? That's the only one I found in teh SPAM box. being visible first and then rerouted to SPAM sounds fishy.
#I am traveling at this time, thus my attention is a bit limited right now. Hans

MH said...

@Rob Dekker #137

'For example, now that we know for a fact that the IPCC statement (which I quoted in post 133), is sustained by Arnell 2004, (table 11 actually),...'

We also know for a fact that the statement, not made by the IPCC, that 'By 2020, between 11 and 175 million of people are projected to enjoy decreased water stress due to climate change' is sustained by table 12 of Arnell 2004.

Do you agree that by mentioning the '75 and 250 million ... increased water stress' but not the '11 and 175 million ... decreased water stress' the IPCC report shows a significant bias?

Rob Dekker said...

Hans, yes, 137 is the one. It was really first posted and later removed. Maybe the spam filter configuration..? I'll make screen shots from now on just in case it happens again.

MH: Do you agree that by mentioning the '75 and 250 million ... increased water stress' but not the '11 and 175 million ... decreased water stress' the IPCC report shows a significant bias?

Not at all. If anything. I think your opinion (of "significant bias") could easily be considered both naive and unethical. Two reasons for that :

(1) All climate change is local.
For example, figures 2 and 3 in Arnell 2004 suggest that North Africa (especially the Western Magreb) will experience reduced run-off under climate change scenario's, while East Africa (Ethiopian highlands) would experience an increase. Now, just for the sake of argument, let's assume that will actually happen. In that case, when the time comes that the peoples of the world start to talk about water scarcity caused by GHG emissions, do you honestly think that it's OK to tell the Moroccans to ask the Ethiopians to compensate for their reduced water run-off ?

Arnell writes :

It is not appropriate simply to determine the net change, because this assumes that 'winners’ exactly compensate ‘losers’, and this is not necessarily the case: the economic and social costs of people becoming water-stressed are likely to outweigh
the economic and social benefits of people ceasing to be water-stressed (although this suggestion needs further
investigation).


I think that is very mildly stated.
I think you risk all-out international conflict if you would present your opinion (of "significant bias") in a UN forum.


(2) An increase in run-off is not necessarily beneficial. Arnell states this rather clearly :

the increase in runoff tends to occur during the wet season, and if not stored will lead to little benefit during the dry season, and may be associated with an increased frequency of flooding

The few areas that would experience increased run-off will likely experience that during the wet season, in the form of increased floods that wash away the marginal top-soil of their vulnerable rain-fed agricultural fields. Who will compensate for that ?

Besides, for North Africa specific, Arnell's modeling studies project overall drying (consistent with the general concept of global warming causing all climates to shift towards the poles).


In the broader picture, our GHG emissions will cause changes in climates acoss the world. I doubt that anyone contestst that.
I think it's only a matter of time until the pattern come out of the noise, and the people affected by such climate changes will want us to take responsibility for the changes our actions caused.

So rather than throwing unsubstantiated ad hominems at the IPCC and Pachauri, as Meichsner and various posters on this blog did, it may be time that we all take a deep breath and accept responsibility. And then deal with that in a positive and ethical way towards everyone on this planet who is not as well prepared to deal with changes in climate as we are.

Arnell writes The impact of these changes on actual water stresses will depend on how water resources are managed in the future.

And THAT we can certainly assist with.

Needless to note that the last few paragraphs are my opinion, and mine only, and you can't have it.

Reiner Grundmann said...

Rob
I can see the points you are making and there is certainly some plausibility in them. But on balance the argument seems to boil down to something like this: we will get more water stress as a result of climate change (i.e. less water) and where we get more water, this will be a problem also (e.g. flooding). So we should keep the weather we have. But is the current climate ideal? Or do miss something?

Apart from this I have a problem with the 75-250m range because this is not flagged as a result in Arnell (2004). You and others say it is implicit in his data, and I agree it is - but there are many implicit messages in all research papers. Normally I would expect that salient findings are reported in the abstract. The fact that the IPCC went to the details of data analysis in this case suggests there was a network of scientists engaged in unearthing this data which is not visible at first sight. And then it was put to use saying we only can lose from climate change. But compare this to the many caveats Arnell puts in his conclusion.

MH said...

@Rob Dekker

It is true that 'It is not appropriate simply to determine the net change' and I never said that things are that simple. But mentioning only the negative effects of global warming without also mentioning the positive effects is dishonest. What is needed is a cost-benefit analysis and I don't find that in the WG2 report.

The conclusion of Arnell's research is that 'climate change would appear to reduce global water resources pressures'. Arnell then relativizes the conclusion of his own research. What he says makes sense and can be the starting point for further research. But it cannot be used to conclude that the overall impact of global warming on water resources is negative. Only further research can do that.

I don't see how my opinion that the IPCC WG2 report is biased could risk an all-out international conflict in a UN forum. If it is true that the Dutch stand with their two feet on the ground then you must be the proverbial exception.

It is indeed time that we accept responsibility. Sending 15.000 bureaucrats to a conference in an exotic city is a waste of money and highly irresponsible. Flying to that same conference in a private jet to tell people that they have to change their life style so that you can keep your swimming pool warm is equally irresponsible.

I don't mind too much about mistakes. I do mind very much about dishonesty. And dishonesty is always ad hominem.

And what do you mean that I "can't have it"? Do you mean that I can't share opions with you?

wflamme said...

Rob, regarding your 'broader picture' I object towards your attitude of moral obligations.

Western societies are not only mainly responsible for the existence of climate change, they are also mainly responsible for the very existence of generators, turbines, tractors, trucks, antibiotics, plastics, X-ray/ultrasound scanning, malaria drugs, cancer treatment, (reinforced) concrete, fertilizers, pesticides, computers, telecommunications and much much more.

It was this path of western technological and industrial development that made these things finally come into being but which unfortunately changes climate. And this price must be paid by everyone who prefers at least some of these things to exist rather than not.

I'm not saying we shouldn't assist those who are negatively affected but we don't owe compensation to none.

Vinny Burgoo said...

From Rajendra Pachauri's foreword to the Worldwatch Institute's _State of the World 2009_:

Some regions of the world would, of course, be affected far more than others. In Africa, for instance, 75–250 million people would experience water stress as early as 2020 as a consequence of climate change. Some countries on that continent may also be suffering from a 50-percent decline in agricultural yields by then.

Count the errors.

1. '... as a consequence of climate change.' No. As a consequence of climate change and population growth. (Got that yet, Rob?)

2. The 'would's should have been heavily caveat-ed 'could's.

3. '... experience water stress' should have been '... experience increased water stress'.

4-7. '... as early as 2020'; gross, not net; Agoumi; Agoumi.

8. UN credentials used to endorse a work by a dooomwanking NGO. (I hope he was paid.)

Dr Pachauri gave a speech at the World Future Energy Summit in (famously ecotastic) Abu Dhabi last week. The transcript isn't yet available. Does anyone care to bet that he didn't kick off 2012 by including a mangled version of Arnell 2004?

Rob Dekker said...

Reiner said the argument seems to boil down to something like this: we will get more water stress as a result of climate change (i.e. less water) and where we get more water, this will be a problem also (e.g. flooding). So we should keep the weather we have. But is the current climate ideal? Or do miss something?

Since MH also referred to the same idea when he mentioned mentioning only the negative effects of global warming without also mentioning the positive effects is dishonest. What is needed is a cost-benefit analysis , I think that it did not explain myself clear enough. So let me try again.

As I pointed out before, Arnell's study projects increased water stress in the Western Magreb. That means the people there would have to make changes (install irrigation systems, increase water storage and improve water distribution networks) to adjust. So I hope we can agree that reduced run-off caused by climate change costs something.

Arnell also projects that the Ethiopian highlands may receive more water. Now, let's take the best-case scenario : assume for now that rain also falls in the dry season, and that the wet season does not cause an increase in flooding. That thus means that the Ethiopians do NOT need to change their (rain fed) agriculture, and that it does thus NOT cost anything. If they are lucky, and attend to their fields properly, they will actually be able to increase their yield a bit. Well, good for them. Point is, they don't need to change, so there is no cost (and any benefit is for them, and we really can't claim it). And that is the best-case scenario.

The worst-case scenario for the people experiencing "decreased water-stress", is in increased rain falls in the wet season. If there is no infrastructure to store that water, then the increased run-off (such as the case in South East Asia, where the majority of the 'decreased water stress' people will live) will simply add to the problems of flooding, which will certainly increase the 'cost' (in damage to fields, infrastructure and lives lost). Again, water management systems and storage would significantly help to take advantage of increased run-off, but who will pay for that in Bangladesh ?

So it would be great to do a cost-benefit analysis as MH suggests, but it may turn out to be a lot more expensive, and a lot more people may be experiencing costly changes, than only the people experiencing reduced run-off, as the IPCC reported.

ALL significant change is hard, and thus costly.

Does this help to explain why the IPCC did not mention 'decreased water-stress' people yet, and if they would, that they would have to also explain that even for these, there may be significant cost involved before they can take advantage of the increase water supply ?

Rob Dekker said...

MH And what do you mean that I "can't have it"? Do you mean that I can't share opions with you?

I'm sorry MH. This is something from the Simpsons. Nothing personal. It sounded applicable, since on since my first post on this thread (#10) it seems that my opinions and fact checks have been greeted with fierce opposition by all commenters (except for Andreas).

MH It is indeed time that we accept responsibility. Sending 15.000 bureaucrats to a conference in an exotic city is a waste of money and highly irresponsible. Flying to that same conference in a private jet to tell people that they have to change their life style so that you can keep your swimming pool warm is equally irresponsible.

So far, nobody has told you to change your lifestyle, did they ?
Neither the bureaucrats, nor the IPCC, nor any scientist, not anyone else, now did they ?

Another thing : the IPCC's budget is something in the range of $ 10 million.
For that investment, we receive a detailed and still comprehensable scientific summary of the current and future environmental effects of a waste product from a more than $ 4 trillion dollar fossil fuel industry (plus effects of other less lucrative human activities). That's something like 0.00025 % of revenue.

That's probably the cheapest environmental impact study that I have ever encountered for ANY industrial activity.

Not to mention that this summary is the only one of its kind, based on the best available scientific evidence, and a foundation for governments around the world to determine policies that are cost effective and efficient in minimizing damage to our planet's eco systems and cost to future generations, a way to compensate damage that will be done, and decide on what kind of world we want to leave to our children and grandchildren.

Oh. And who is flying these private jets again ? Scientists or industry executives ?

And if these scientists report that Africa, rain-fed agriculture may be especially vulnerable to the waste product of this $ 4 trillion industry, and that 75-250 million people may be faced with reduce water run-off because of that, then rather than trying to get to some constructive plan to help these people build a water management infrastructure to cope with these effects, the media go ballistic with accusations of wrongdoing by the IPCC and Pachauri, and here we are debating if the 75-250 million people includes population growth or not, and despite numerous explanations on why it does not, Vinny is still pointing out every speach that omits the word "increased" from the IPCC statement, and declaring "gobsmacking institutional incompetence".

What is going on here ? Anyone care to explain this agressive stand agaist the IPCC's findings ?

Rob Dekker said...

Hans, there are two messages from me stuck in the SPAM filter. Please release them (of course if you approve :o)