Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Climategate Update 9: CRU Head Phil Jones Steps Down During Investigation, An MIT Prof Explains The Holes In AGW, And Climate Fraud Is Everywhere

The CRU's Phil "hide the decline" Jones gets canned by East Anglia pending an investigation. Another scientist proclaims that AGW "fraud is everywhere." And an MIT professor points out how the AGW crowd has cooked the books, how the science of AGW is anything but settled, and he tells us of what he sees as the real scandal: "the suggestion that the very existence of warming or of the greenhouse effect is tantamount to catastrophe. This is the grossest of "bait and switch" scams."

Climategate claims a major perpetrator. Dr. Phil "hide the decline" Jones, director of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU), and certainly one of the most important player in the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) world, has stepped down from his position "pending an investigation into allegations that he overstated the case for man-made climate change." I suspected that, when East Anglia and not Phil Jones announced the other day that the CRU would now make all of its work public, East Anglia had, in an effort to preserve its reputation, read Dr. Jones the riot act. Now, East Anglia is taking the next step. This is a measure of how seriously they view the substance of the allegations. It may prove another whitewash, but irrespective, given the timing, one wonders how this will effect the Copenhagen Conference. I doubt that the players in the Conference will do anything to even acknowledge Climategate given AGW is their entire rasion d'etre for existence. That said, the question is how will it effect press coverage of both Copenhagen and Climategate?

Over at PJM, scientist Douglas Keenan discusses how he was mistreated by the AGW cabal and his work supressed while Phil Jones, mentioned above, used knowingly fraudulent data to support IPCC conclusions:

In 2007, I published a peer-reviewed paper alleging that some important research relied upon by the IPCC (for the treatment of urbanization effects) was fraudulent. The emails show that Tom Wigley — one of the most oft-cited climatologists and an extreme warming advocate — thought my paper was valid. They also show that Phil Jones, the head of the Climatic Research Unit, tried to convince the journal editor not to publish my paper.

After my paper was published, the State University of New York — where the research discussed in my paper was conducted — carried out an investigation. During the investigation, I was not interviewed — contrary to the university’s policies, federal regulations, and natural justice. I was allowed to comment on the report of the investigation, before the report’s release.

But I was not allowed to see the report. Truly Kafkaesque.

The report apparently concluded that there was no fraud. The leaked files contain the defense used against my allegation, a defense obviously and strongly contradicted by the documentary record. It is no surprise then that the university still refuses to release the report. (More details on all of this — including source documents — are on my site.)

My paper demonstrates that by 2001, Jones knew there were severe problems with the urbanization research. Yet Jones continued to rely on that research in his work, including in his work for the latest report of the IPCC.

Dr. Keenan goes on to discuss several other aspects showing rot at the core of AGW and its many advocates. Read his article here.

Then there is this highly informative article from MIT Professor of Meterology Richard S. Lindz explaining the major holes in the theory of AGW, showing how the Phil Jones and crew are cooking the books, and discussing why the increase in carbon is not something to become alarmed about:

The defining characteristic of a greenhouse gas is that it is relatively transparent to visible light from the sun but can absorb portions of thermal radiation. In general, the earth balances the incoming solar radiation by emitting thermal radiation, and the presence of greenhouse substances inhibits cooling by thermal radiation and leads to some warming.

That said, the main greenhouse substances in the earth's atmosphere are water vapor and high clouds. Let's refer to these as major greenhouse substances to distinguish them from the anthropogenic minor substances. Even a doubling of CO2 would only upset the original balance between incoming and outgoing radiation by about 2%. This is essentially what is called "climate forcing."

There is general agreement on the above findings. At this point there is no basis for alarm regardless of whether any relation between the observed warming and the observed increase in minor greenhouse gases can be established. Nevertheless, the most publicized claims of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) deal exactly with whether any relation can be discerned. The failure of the attempts to link the two over the past 20 years bespeaks the weakness of any case for concern.

. . . The main statement publicized after the last IPCC Scientific Assessment two years ago was that it was likely that most of the warming since 1957 (a point of anomalous cold) was due to man. This claim was based on the weak argument that the current models used by the IPCC couldn't reproduce the warming from about 1978 to 1998 without some forcing, and that the only forcing that they could think of was man. Even this argument assumes that these models adequately deal with natural internal variability—that is, such naturally occurring cycles as El Nino, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, etc.

Yet articles from major modeling centers acknowledged that the failure of these models to anticipate the absence of warming for the past dozen years was due to the failure of these models to account for this natural internal variability. Thus even the basis for the weak IPCC argument for anthropogenic climate change was shown to be false.

Of course, none of the articles stressed this. Rather they emphasized that according to models modified to account for the natural internal variability, warming would resume—in 2009, 2013 and 2030, respectively.

But even if the IPCC's iconic statement were correct, it still would not be cause for alarm. . . . It is generally accepted that a doubling of CO2 will only produce a change of about two degrees Fahrenheit if all else is held constant. This is unlikely to be much to worry about.

Yet current climate models predict much higher sensitivities. They do so because in these models, the main greenhouse substances (water vapor and clouds) act to amplify anything that CO2 does. This is referred to as positive feedback. But as the IPCC notes, clouds continue to be a source of major uncertainty in current models. Since clouds and water vapor are intimately related, the IPCC claim that they are more confident about water vapor is quite implausible.

There is some evidence of a positive feedback effect for water vapor in cloud-free regions, but a major part of any water-vapor feedback would have to acknowledge that cloud-free areas are always changing, and this remains an unknown. At this point, few scientists would argue that the science is settled. In particular, the question remains as to whether water vapor and clouds have positive or negative feedbacks.

The notion that the earth's climate is dominated by positive feedbacks is intuitively implausible, and the history of the earth's climate offers some guidance on this matter. About 2.5 billion years ago, the sun was 20%-30% less bright than now (compare this with the 2% perturbation that a doubling of CO2 would produce), and yet the evidence is that the oceans were unfrozen at the time, and that temperatures might not have been very different from today's. Carl Sagan in the 1970s referred to this as the "Early Faint Sun Paradox."

For more than 30 years there have been attempts to resolve the paradox with greenhouse gases. Some have suggested CO2—but the amount needed was thousands of times greater than present levels and incompatible with geological evidence. Methane also proved unlikely. It turns out that increased thin cirrus cloud coverage in the tropics readily resolves the paradox—but only if the clouds constitute a negative feedback. In present terms this means that they would diminish rather than enhance the impact of CO2.

There are quite a few papers in the literature that also point to the absence of positive feedbacks. The implied low sensitivity is entirely compatible with the small warming that has been observed. So how do models with high sensitivity manage to simulate the currently small response to a forcing that is almost as large as a doubling of CO2? Jeff Kiehl notes in a 2007 article from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the models use another quantity that the IPCC lists as poorly known (namely aerosols) to arbitrarily cancel as much greenhouse warming as needed to match the data, with each model choosing a different degree of cancellation according to the sensitivity of that model.

What does all this have to do with climate catastrophe? The answer brings us to a scandal that is, in my opinion, considerably greater than that implied in the hacked emails from the Climate Research Unit (though perhaps not as bad as their destruction of raw data): namely the suggestion that the very existence of warming or of the greenhouse effect is tantamount to catastrophe. This is the grossest of "bait and switch" scams. It is only such a scam that lends importance to the machinations in the emails designed to nudge temperatures a few tenths of a degree. (emphasis added)

The notion that complex climate "catastrophes" are simply a matter of the response of a single number, GATA, to a single forcing, CO2 (or solar forcing for that matter), represents a gigantic step backward in the science of climate. Many disasters associated with warming are simply normal occurrences whose existence is falsely claimed to be evidence of warming. And all these examples involve phenomena that are dependent on the confluence of many factors. . . .

Do read the entire article. Get informed, since putting a stake in the AGW agenda is a literal necessity to saving the American way of life.

Several things seem to be happening at once as regards Climategate. One, scientists within the AGW community are turning on their own. Two, scientists ill-treated by the AGW cabal are coming out of the woodwork with stories of mistreatment and the silencing of their work. Three, those scientists in all disciplines concerned with the perceived legitimacy of science are coming out of the woodwork to condemn the way in which the AGW crowd has done business. Lastly, the institutions associated with AGW, those whose reputations stand to be most tarnished, are taking action. At some point in Climategate, critical mass will be reached. And we seem to be approaching that point with some rapidity - that despite every AGW player with a vested interest, including most of the MSM, doing all possible to see that critical mass is never reached.

Prior Posts:

Climategate and Surrealism
More Climategate Fallout
Climategate Update 3
Climategate Update 4: CRU Records Worthless
Climategate Update 5: IPCC's Chairman Mao
Climategate Update 6: Climategate In Video
UNEP, Green Religion & Global Governance
Climate Update 7: IPCC's Chairman Mao Plays The Obama Card, Peer Review Analyzed, Scientific Method Explained For Paul Krugman
Climategate Update 8: The NYT Reports

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