Thursday, July 29, 2010

Interview mit Reinhard Böhm zur MIttelalterlichen Warmperiode

Im neuen (?) Blog "Mittelalterliche Warmperiode" geht jemand, er sich William von Baskerville nennt und Österreich als seinen Standort angibt, eben der Mittelalterlichen Warmperiode nach - und dabei hat er ein interessantes Interview mit dem auch auf der Klimazwiebel bekannten und geschätzten Reinhard Böhm geführt.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Epilogue to Lysenko-debate by Nils Roll Hansen

Nils Roll-Hansen, 27.07.10: The lesson from Lysenkoism

I am happy that the comments to my blog “A lesson from Lysenkoism?” (Klimazwiebel, 6 June 2010) give me an opportunity clarify a couple of issues.
  • Firstly: I believe there is an important lesson about scientific autonomy to be learned. The present threat is not direct political intervention like in 1948, but subtle ideological, political and economic factors that undermine scientific autonomy in the long run.
  • Secondly: Lysenko became infamous for his genetics. But it was contributions to plant physiology that launched his career. His personal career as well as that of his teachings can only be properly understood on this background. Traditional historiography misleads by neglecting the work that first gave Lysenko both national and international scientific status and recognition.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Wieder Geden: Was kommt nach dem Zwei-Grad-Ziel?

Oliver Geden von der Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik hat seine Überlegungen zur Post-2-Grad Zeit fortgesetzt in einem 4-seitigen SWP Aktuell (#55) Was kommt nach dem 2 Grad Ziel?.

In der PRESSE: Klimaforschung und die Medien. Eine fragile Beziehungsgeschichte.

Die beiden CLISAP-Klimaforscher Irene Neverla (Medienwissenschaftlerin) und Hans von Storch (Klimastatistiker) schreiben in der österreichischen PRESSE vom 24. Juli 2010 über die mediale Karriere des Klimaproblems.
Unter dem Titel "Wer den Hype braucht" (Original: Klimaforschung und die Medien. Eine fragile Beziehungsgeschichte") heisst es "Am Anfang war „Klimawandel“ nur eine – gut begründete – Hypothese. Innerhalb weniger Jahrzehnte wurde daraus mediale Gewissheit: erst die einer nahenden Katastrophe, schließlich die einer längst gegenwärtigen globalen Tragödie. Zur Karriere eines Begriffs." Der ganze Text auf der Webseite der

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A cloudy or a sunny future ?

A key factor in determining future global warming is the reaction of the clouds to rising temperatures: if cloud cover diminishes or clouds reflect less solar radiation they can exacerbate the effect of CO2: by the same token, they can moderate the warming if they become more extensive or more reflective in the future. Since climate models are nor particularly good at simulating clouds, this is the most important single source of uncertainty.

Brain Hoskins and Camilla Toulmin, drinking tea with The Economist

I have just discovered that The Economist offers a series of interesting short interviews on a series of different topics. Two of them are related to climate change. One is with Brian Hoskins, a very well known expert on atmospheric dynamics and review editor in the last IPCC Report. He offers what I find are candid views on uncertainties, climate models and action on climate change. This interview is post-climategate.

Do you believe in global warming?

I recall Werner confronting me with this question some moths ago in this blog, and now one of our regular readers, Jon, has sent me a thoughtful article published in Global Change containing exactly the same question. The author of this article is clearly seeking a common ground to break the current stalemate, something that is really welcomed.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A mistake with consequences ?

A new paper in press in Journal of Climate by Jason Smerdon from the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory and collaborators documents surprising, and somewhat inexplicable, errors in some previous pseudo-proxy studies by Mann and collaborators.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Investment in new energy technologies

The FT has an interesting article on energy technologies. It reports on the Climate Change Committee’s warning that the UK is not on track with investment in this area and is falling behind other countries (read the Committee's full report here)
The Committee on Climate Change, the statutory body that advises ministers on emissions reduction targets, said the UK spent 0.01 per cent of GDP on energy in 2007, the latest year for which comparative figures are available. That compared to 0.03 per cent in the US, 0.05 per cent in France and 0.09 per cent in Japan.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Stepen Schneider dies from Heart Attack

It may seem strange, but this sad news is not yet in the mainstream media. I saw it on RPjr's blog and here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

update: hottest june / spring / year ever

It's summer, and temperature is rising. More than ever, according to recent data. According to the Guardian and many other sources, it was the hottest June ever:
'The trend to a warmer world is now incontrovertible. According to NOAA, June was the 304th consecutive month with a combined global land and surface temperature above the 20th-century average. The last month with below-average temperatures was February 1985. Each of the 10 warmest average global temperatures recorded since 1880 have occurred in the last 15 years with the previous warmest first half of a year in 1998. '

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Homöopathie & Wissenschaft

This is just paraphernalia, but it's fun to think about. Unfortunately only in German: in the spiegel-online interview, a scientist argues that 'Homeopathy is a dogma' in contrast to science (orthodox medicine). The political background is  the proposition to ban homeopathy from health care services. In the interview, the scientist argues that there is no scientific evidence for the effectiveness of homeopathy according to standardized tests. His main argument is that homeopathy is not 'scientific'- 'nicht wissenschaftlich'.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Two recent pieces in The Economist

The Economist runs this week two pieces on climate. I liked very much the leader article titled Flawed Scientist , although the title does not actually correspond very well with the content of the article. If someone would ask me to summarize my view on the present controversies I would point to this op-ed. The lengthier report Science behind closed doors in the magazine about the recent Dutch, Oxburgh, and Muir-Russel assessments is, I think also, quite accurate.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Muir Russel Inquiry report published

The full report can be downloaded here, it is 160 pages long. The BBC reports as main findings that the integrity of the scientists is not in question but that openness about data was a problem. Little suprise here. The BBC says:

"Sir Muir commented: "So we conclude that the argument that CRU has something to hide does not stand up".

Monday, July 5, 2010

Dutch analysis of quality of WG II AR4 reports finds no significant errors

The PBL in the Netherlands has published its assessment of the WG II report of IPCC AR4. The Report and a press release are available on the net.

Guardian on long-terms effects of ClimateGate

In the Guardian of 4. July, science writer Fred Pearce has written 'Climategate' was 'a game-changer' in science reporting, say climatologists After the hacked emails scandal scientists became 'more upfront, open and explicit about their uncertainties'. In preparation, Fred Pearce has approached a number of scientists, asking for their opinions. Off course, only part of the answers entered the article, which I consider well researched. For the readers of the Klimazwiebel, it may be interesting to read what the full accounts of those asked were. Here are some:

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Roger Pielke sr. claims to have found errors in WGI-report of IPCC AR4

Roger A. Pielke Sr. claims that the Working Group I report of IPCC AR4 (2007) contains at least three significant errors - with error meaning "an inaccurate or flawed analysis of the available, scientifically legitimate knowledge available in time of the deadline of AR4". Thus the issue is not whether the statements about the climate are in hindsight wrong or right, but if the assessment provides a reliable account of the knowledge at the time of the assessment. The deadline was in mid 2006.

One error refers to an incomplete account of the drivers of climate change (absorbing aerosols and land-use changes), another relates to a figure caption, and the third to the attribution of recent warm years only to elevated greenhouse gas levels.

Yale project on climate change communication: On public perceptions of climate change and climate scientists

The Yale project on climate change communication released a working paper, a reader of this blog pointed out to us,  that examines the impact of Climategate on public perceptions of climate change and climate scientists, drawing on a national survey which was conducted in December, 2009 and January, 2010.

In brief, the project found that "Climategate" had a significant negative effect on public beliefs in global warming and trust in scientists. The loss of trust in scientists, however, appears to have been primarily among people with a strongly individualistic worldview or politically conservative ideology. Nonetheless, the project found that Americans overall continued to trust scientists more than any other source of information about global warming.

You can download the working paper from the project's website.