Monday, March 29, 2010

James Lovelock interview

The Guardian has a feature on Lovelock here. There is also the whole transcript of the interview. He says he believes in AGW but has partial praise for some sceptics who raise important questions. He shows some contempt for (current forms of) renewable energy, and even more for democracy ('I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while'). He does not believe in computer models and calls for more observations. Sometimes he makes just very sweeping statements and seems not too well informed... Still, you will find some interesting thoughts by the wise old man who has seen it all.

Der Spiegel poll

A new poll in Germany conducted by Der Spiegel in Germany shows that one third of the polled citizens does not really trust the results of climate science and one fourth thinks they could even benefit from climate change.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Why are so many climate scientists Neo-Malthusians?

Ever since Ehrlich's Population Bomb and the Club of Rome reports, there is concern about the size of human population on Earth. Following the observation of Malthus that there were more births than funerals in his parish, 20th century thinkers have warned about the limits of the carrying capacity of Nature. More people means more problems. In a climate change context it seems obvious that more people mean more GHG emissions. However, this simple thought neglects the fact that it is relative wealth of a given population which impacts on emissions. 300 million in developing countries are not the same as in the energy hungry North.

Friday, March 26, 2010

China is leader in renewable energy

Remember Copenhagen? China was blamed by many for the failure of the summit. It is also the largest emitter of CO2 (not per capita though). Now it is also the leader in renewable energy investment. This is not a widely known fact, and not publicised widely. The BBC has the story here.

Ed Miliband writes to Pachauri

The UK climate change secretary Ed Miliband has written to the chairman of the IPCC. The nature of the letter signals that the concerns about public trust are taken serioulsy. Have other governments done similar things?

German IPCC nominations for AR5

On Thursday, 25 March 2010, we had a public discussion organized by the KlimaCampus in Hamburg a discussion about IPCC, Climategate and the relationship of climate science, media and politics - see[tt_news]=245&tx_ttnews[backPid]=328&cHash=7fc18dbda5.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rob Maris: survey on political position

A guest activity by Rob Maris
See survey in the right column of this webblog.

Which way forward for the IPCC?

Over at Roger Pielke Jr.'s blog Richard Tol has a pretty damning assessment of the last IPCC report. He focuses on WG 3 and the failure of peer review. He says:
In sum, the review process of the IPCC failed miserably. AR4 of WG3 substantially and knowingly misrepresents the state of the art in our understanding of the costs of emission reduction. It leads the reader to the conclusion that emission reduction is much cheaper and easier than it will be in real life.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Economist gets it wrong, ... and right

As many readers will know, The Economist for quite some time did not embrace environmental concerns, climate policy included. After it decided this was a worthy cause, Climategate and failure in Copenhagen could have suggested that it reverses gear. It did not. Here is the conclusion of an article published in this week's edition:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Question of Tom Crowley to Ross McKittrick

The attach inquiry by Tom Crowley and the response by Ross McKittrick maybe of interest of our readers. Both, Tom and Ross have no objections against publication.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Interview in Discover Magazine: Judith Curry vs Michael Mann

Interviews can be found here

I found both interviews interesting, and much can be learned about different mindsets. Judith Curry is being, surprisingly  for me, quite critical to the IPCC,   suggesting a stronger role of natural climate variations, and points to the influence of personality traits on the present stalemate; Michael Mann defends his points with passion, even flirting with the idea of a real danger for the human race.
Please, comment on the content of the interviews and avoid personal attacks.

Has the IPCC been too cautious?

Sir John Houghton writes in the Times that the IPCC has been 'too cautious, not alarmist'. He dedicates one paragraph to the question:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

News, March 2010

Some news about running this blog:

Open Letter by scientists on IPCC

A substantial number of scientists in the United states has published an Open Letter on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Errors Contained in the Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Inside climate

Climate is the statistics of weather. True. But there is more to it. Climate is also the atmospheric envelope we live in. There is no outside to climate; we are always in it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Martin Parry, Chair of IPCC AR4, working group 2, on 13 February 2010

I got a copy of this letter, which presumably was sent to Working Group II authors and others on 13. Februrary 2010 by the chair of Working Group II of  AR4, Prof Martin Parry. This part of the 4 Assessment report (AR4) of the IPCC has attracted significant criticism in the past. It seems that Martin Parry considers the critique inadquate.
When commenting on this, please pay attention to netiquette. I will not hesitate to delete inflammatory, insulting or otherwise stupid comments.

Cold winter 2010

Geert Jan van Oldenburgh of KNMI has prepared an analysis "Klimaat 2010: a winter of extremes - Cold in Europa, Siberia and the US, but above normal globally".

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Frank Furedi: Turning peer review into modern-day holy scripture

Frank Furedi as an interesting article in spiked on the peer review system. He finds:
The treatment of peer-reviewed science as an unquestionable form of authority is corrupting the peer-review system and damaging public debate.

Climate models and the laws of physics

Climate science is solid because it is based on the laws of physics, we hear sometimes, but perhaps this sentence conveys subliminally a level of uncertainty that is debatable. Even if the laws of physics are perfectly known, calculations based on these laws may be just approximate. This is the case for climate models. A simple comparison of the mean simulated by climate models and real data shows that the story is not that simple

Climate wars in the blogosphere

There is a war going on in the blogosphere. Have a look at one of the current debates between two heavy weight bloggers, Joe Romm versus Roger Pielke jr:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Model uncertainty

I am opening a new thread to discuss issues arising in the Grilling Jones post. This has to do with data sharing and the relation between datasets and theoretical models. So please stay on this topic when commenting. The reference is to a sociological study (thanks to Jin W for alerting me!). In case you find it difficult to access this article(free our data!), I reproduce the main findings from the conclusion below.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Phil Jones gets a grilling at hearing

The UK Select Committee on Science and Technology has had its hearing today and there is a video link up here. Jones is about 1 hour into the proceedings. Takes a while to load.

Dutch PBL checks IPCC reports

Guest Post
Marcel Severijnen

The Dutch government has fallen on a discussion on the prolongation of the Afghanistan military mission. There was full coverage in all media during this discussion period. Hidden in this noise the Dutch Parliament also discussed a few outcomes of climategate, and with every new item members of the different parties in the parliament got more nervous and claimed more action from the Ministry of Environment.