Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Experten an der Macht?

Reinhard Hüttl, der Präsident der Deutschen Akademie für Technikwissenschaften hat einen lesenwerten Artikel in der Zeitschrift DUZ veröffentlicht, den Spiegel Online wiederabdruckt. Darin hebt er die Unterscheidung von wissenschaftlicher Beratung und politischer Entscheidung hervor, und weist auf die Gefahren hin, wenn diese verwischt wird. Sein Aufhänger sind die "technokratischen" Regierungen Italiens und Griechenlands, doch sind die Aussagen weiter gefasst. Hier ist ein Auszug, der den Kerngedanken wiedergibt:

Saturday, January 28, 2012

IPCC deadlines

The next assessment Report of the Working Group I of the IPCC is due in September 2013. It will only consider papers that have been published before March 2013 . In my opinion, this cut-off dates is at odds with the spirit of the IPCC.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Models and reality

,In view of the interest on scepticism, I thought that the following text on models, written as a sort of personal introduction within the Post Normal Science workshop (more info here and here held in Hamburg last year, could be interesting for some readers of Klimazwiebel. It is a bit too long and there is no guarantee that at the end the reader will be satisfied. On similar tone, but much better written, is the article by Sibylle Anderl in FAZ.

UK report on future climate risks

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has just published a report called Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA). It is the first assessment of its kind for the UK and the first in a 5 year cycle.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Geden in english - now available: The end of climate Policy as we knew it

On Nov 24, 20101 we had a discussion ab out Oliver Geden's analysis Das Ende der Klimapolitik, wie wir sie kannten. This paper is now available in English - see "The End of Climate Policy as We Knew It". An interesting and thought provoking scenario of climate policies and emerging perspectives in 2015.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Praise of Skepticism I

For too long now, the term "skepticism" has been used in the climate debate in an almost pejorative manner. Time to start a series of reflections on skepticism as a virtue, of something we cannot do without in science.
 To start with, I want to borrow a nice story from the "Chronicle of Higher Education" blog by Peter Wood: "Skepticism and Tradition". He uses the example of the initiation rites among the Baktaman in New Guinea, as reported by the anthropologist Fredrik Barth, to make an argument for more tradition in our Western education systems; I want to focus on the other end of the pair and use it as an argument for more skepticism in the natural sciences (and especially in the climate sciences).

Friday, January 20, 2012

Is the carbon bubble next to burst?

The Guardian has an interesting story today about an open letter to the governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King. It has been signed by environmentalist groups, renewable energy representatives, politicians, academics, etc. See the letter here. The letter asks King to carefully consider the consequences of continuous institutional investment in fossil fuels. The signatories express concern that market reactions would not be swift enough should a depreciation of fossil fuel based companies occur. It is a call to improve the investment climate for renewable energy businesses to avoid 'systemic risk' which could stem from a crisis of fossil fuels.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Finally Hartwell breaks through to the other side

German spiegel-online reports from a study published in Science by Drew Shindell and many other scientists with a title the authors of the Hartwell paper couldn't have said better:
"Simultaneously mitigating near-term climate change and improving human health and food security."
Well, yes. What's new for Science doesn't have to be new for klimazwiebel authors and readers. But finally, good to hear that other people,too, seem to give up their 2-degree goals and become more pragmatic and realistic!
 Here the abstract:

Monday, January 9, 2012

Jerry Ravetz on Digital Media and the Sociology of Science

Jerry Ravetz, well known to klimazwiebel readers, has published a (free available) comment in Nature on the changes that digital media and the blogosphere bring to the "models of autorship and collaboration" in scientific research and production. According to Jerry Ravetz, the sole authority of the scientific journal and the system of "peer review, publication and replication" is challenged by new trends:
The rise of digital media has revolutionized the management of information and created opportunities for broader involvement in science's production. Collaborations are growing ever larger, transforming the concept of authorship. Prepublication discussions of research on blogs dilute a principal author's claim to discovery. And the public is increasingly involved.
It is amazing to read Ravetz's strong argument for new social practices in science in Nature, the world's leading scientific journal. In publishing this comment, Nature demonstrates that it knows well to read the signs of the time. Already on the "Science in a digital society" workshop in Lisbon in March 2011,  an editor of Nature reflected on the changes the blogosphere and other emanations of the digital media might bring for Nature and scientific journals in general. There is definitively something going on!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Zero order Draft of IPCC R 5 Working Groups I and II available

The IPCC WG II Technical Support Unit has informed:

"It has been brought to our attention that 28 of the WGII and several of  the WGI ZODs chapters have been posted on the website <<http://www.gallopingcamel.info/IPCC.htm>>

This web site was apparently created for the specific purpose of  publishing the IPCC AR5 ZODs. The WGI ZODs were briefly posted on and  then removed from the file-sharing site MegaUpload in mid-December. The  first WGI ZOD chapter went up on gallopingcamel a bit over a week ago.  The WGII ZOD chapters were added 2 January 2012.

We are taking a two-pronged approach. First, we plan to post a document  on the WGII website explaining the philosophy of the review process. A  draft of that document is attached. We tried to clearly explain the reasons why drafts are not made publicly available and to encourage  experts to participate in the review process.

Second, we are working closely with the IPCC Secretariat and with WGI on drafting a letter to gallopingcamel to request removal of the chapters.  As it is doubtful that gallopingcamel will remove the chapters, we would  like to include the attached document as part of that request (with modifications to include relevant information on WGI); maybe they will  post it on their website.

We will keep you informed of any significant developments.

The mentioned bacvkground material is this:

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Scandinavian-Mediterranean teleconnections

If you happened to pay attention to the Scandinavian weather news during this winter, you would have been a bit surprised by the mild temperatures in November and December. Also, the Mediterranean is in this winter drier than normal - the last winter news about extreme flooding are almost forgotten. Both are manifestation of the same seasonal weather pattern, the North Atlantic Oscillation.