Scientific Appraisal Panel chaired by Lord Oxburgh

Posted 15th April 2010

No sooner had one expressed doubts about the prospects of a thorough review of the science supporting the man-made global warming hypothesis, than another report is announced.  The Oxburgh panel has been investigating the work of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU).  Contrast, if you will, the conclusions reached by the Wegman Committee in respect of the MBH98 paper produced by Dr Michael Mann and colleagues, with the conclusions reached by Lord Oxburgh and his panel.

The Wegman Report, produced in 2006, concluded: “It is important to note the isolation of the paleoclimatic community; even though they rely heavily on statistical methods they do not seem to be interacting with the statistical community.  Additionally, we judge that the sharing of research materials, data and results was haphazardly and grudgingly done.  In this case we judge that there was too much reliance on peer review, which was not necessarily independent.  Moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicised that this community can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility.  Overall our committee believes that Dr Mann’s assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade of the millennium, cannot be supported by his analysis.” The body of the report refers to basic errors in the use of statistical methods and highlights subversion of the peer review process: “at least 43 authors have direct connections to Dr Mann by virtue of coauthoring papers with him”

Whereas Lord Oxburgh’s panel states: “Although inappropriate statistical tools with the potential for producing misleading results have been used by some other groups, presumably by accident rather than design, in the CRU papers that we examined we did not come across any inappropriate usage although the methods they used may not
have been the best for the purpose. It is not clear, however, that better methods would have produced significantly different results.” Continue reading

House of Commons Science and Technology Committee CRU Inquiry

Posted 13th April 2010

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee published its report into “The disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia” on 31st March 2010.

It is difficult to reconcile the conclusions of the Inquiry with the evidence presented to it.   Clearly the Inquiry was conducted with undue haste in order to publish its findings before the election was announced and parliament suspended.  It could be further argued that contentious findings would have had the potential to disrupt the election.

The oral sessions were woefully inadequate and failed to probe witnesses on the substance of the written submissions.  The balance of the oral sessions was heavily weighted in favour of the man-made global warming lobby and had no representation from those who’ve studied the science of climate change in depth across the many scientific disciplines, such as Peter Taylor who made a comprehensive written submission.

Climate change science has played a major role in formulating public policy with many ramifications: economic, social and political.  The Inquiry, as constituted, could never have hoped to achieve what is required, a full independent assessment, of the current state of climate science, independent of the IPCC.  The scope of the Inquiry was drawn sufficiently narrowly so as to avoid many important issues and the Committee seemed to accept the notion that the “science is settled” without probing inconsistencies and contradictions in the evidence. Continue reading

Chill, A Reassessment of Global Warming Theory

Posted 27th March 2010

Does Climate Change Mean the World is Cooling, and If So What Should We Do About It?

Peter Taylor gave a talk at the Energy Institute in London on 16th February 2010.:  “Peter Taylor is an ecologist with a long history of environmental activism and science policy analysis at all levels of government, the EU and the UN. During the 1980s he was a leading advocate for Greenpeace on issues of marine pollution. In recent years he has sat on the UK National Advisory Group for Community Renewable Energy Initiatives and his communications consultancy Ethos pioneered landscape visualisation techniques for integrating renewable energy projects with other elements of sustainability.  During his work on renewable energy strategies, Peter became concerned with the impact of the rush into renewable power supplies on community and biodiversity, and decided to review the science base for ‘global warming’. Continue reading

Global Average Temperatures from UAH

Posted 26th March 2010

John Christy and Roy Spencer at the University of Alabama in Huntsville have produced credible temperature data from satellite measurements since 1979 which are used for the World Climate Widget available from Anthony Watts’ www.wattsupwiththat.com.

Roy Spencer maintains a useful, latest global temperature change page on his website.  On 16th March he posted an interesting analysis of the Urban Heat Island effect.  Both pages are well worth a visit.

and here are global sea surface temperatures (x10) plotted against the Nino3.4 region average from the tropical E. Pacific which suggests a relationship between SSTs and global temperatures which lag the former.

Continue reading

The mythology of man-made global warming

Posted 3rd February 2010

No evidence of hot-spots in the troposphere:

The UK Met Office describes the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) hypothesis as follows: “It is now clear that man-made greenhouse gases are causing climate change.  The rate of change began as significant, has becoming alarming and is simply unsustainable in the long term” and the greenhouse effect is depicted on their website thus:

Solar rays hit the earth and heat up the surface (as shown on the left).  The earth’s surface emits infrared radiation back in to space thereby cooling the planet (depicted by two of the red arrows in the right hand picture).  Greenhouse gases in the troposphere trap some of the infrared rays reflecting heat back down to the surface.  The AGW theory suggests that increased CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, caused by humans, is raising global temperatures.

For the theory to hold true, the observable rate of temperature increase would be higher in the troposphere than at the earth’s surface.  The rate of temperature increase would be most noticeable in the tropics because that is where the surface would be radiating the most heat.

Yet the observations, from radiosonde (weather balloons) have consistently shown that not to be the case:

The left hand picture is the climate model prediction of warming in the mid troposphere due to greenhouse gases from 1958 to 1999.  The computer models predict most warming occurs at the mid troposphere at the Equator.  The right hand picture shows actual temperatures measured over the same period by radiosonde (weather balloon).  Actual balloon measurements show no increase in the rate of warming in the mid troposphere at the Equator, ie. no evidence of hot-spots in the troposphere and what is more none of the scientific papers supporting the AGW theory have claimed to have found such evidence.

In short the AGW theory is not borne out by the evidence.  Had the AGW hypothesis been subject to the proper scientific method, the failure to substantiate this fundamental premise (of increased warming in the troposphere over the Equator) would have rendered the man-made global warming theory invalid. Continue reading