First We had ClimateGate.
Then We had GlacierGate.
We had Record Snowfalls in places that don’t have record snowfalls.
Now, whoops, they’ve stepped in it again.
And again, it only appears in English Newspapers.
The Mainstream Media largely ignores it.
The Religion of Global Warming moves on.
UK Guardian2/14/2010 : Climate experts have been forced to admit another embarrassing error in their most recent report on the threat of climate change.
In a background note – released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) last night – the UN group said its 2007 report wrongly stated that 55% of the Netherlands lies below sea level. In fact, only 26% of the country does. The figure used by the IPCC included all areas in the country that are prone to flooding, including land along rivers above sea level. This accounts for 29% of the Dutch countryside.
“The sea-level statistic was used for background information only, and the updated information remains consistent with the overall conclusions,” the IPCC note states. Nevertheless, the admission is likely to intensify claims by sceptics that the IPCC work is riddled with sloppiness.
The disclosure will intensify divisions between scientists and sceptics over the interpretation of statistics and the use of sources for writing climate change reports, disagreements that have led to apologies being made by both sides of the debate. Last week a key climate-change sceptic apologised for alleging that one of the world’s leading meteorologists had deliberately exaggerated the dangers of global warming.
In an email debate in the Observer, Benny Peiser, head of the UK Global Warming Policy Foundation, quoted Sir John Houghton, the UK scientist who played a key role in establishing the IPCC, as saying that “unless we announce disasters, no one will listen”.
But in a letter to the Observer, Houghton said: “The quote from me is without foundation. I have never said it or written it. Although it has spread on the internet like wild fire, I do not know its origin. In fact, I have frequently argued the opposite, namely that those who make such statements are not only wrong but counterproductive.”
Houghton said he was incensed because he believed the quote attributed to him, and to the IPCC, an attitude of hype and exaggeration and demanded an apology from Peiser.
For his part, Peiser told the Observer that he welcomed the clarification. “For many years, the Houghton ‘quote’ has been published in numerous books and articles. I took Sir John’s failure to challenge it hitherto as a tacit admission that the ‘quote’ was accurate and reflected his view on climate policy. Now that he has publicly disowned the statement, I will certainly refrain from using it.”
Houghton’s “quote” has become one of the most emblematic remarks supposed to have been made by a mainstream scientist about global warming, and appears on almost two million web pages concerned with climate change. The fact that it now turns out to be fabricated has delighted scientists.
“We do not over-egg the pudding when it comes to the evidence about global warming – and I hope people will now appreciate this point,” said Alan Thorpe, head of the Natural Environment Research Council.
And it get’s better!
From Phil J0nes, IPCC science guru:
The academic at the centre of the ‘Climategate’ affair, whose raw data is crucial to the theory of climate change, has admitted that he has trouble ‘keeping track’ of the information.
Colleagues say that the reason Professor Phil Jones has refused Freedom of Information requests is that he may have actually lost the relevant papers.
And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming.
Professor Jones told the BBC yesterday there was truth in the observations of colleagues that he lacked organisational skills, that his office was swamped with piles of paper and that his record keeping is ‘not as good as it should be’.
The data is crucial to the famous ‘hockey stick graph’ used by climate change advocates to support the theory.
Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon.
B – Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming
Yes, but only just.
H – If you agree that there were similar periods of warming since 1850 to the current period, and that the MWP is under debate, what factors convince you that recent warming has been largely man-made?
The fact that we can’t explain the warming from the 1950s by solar and volcanic forcing – see my answer to your question D.
I – Would it be reasonable looking at the same scientific evidence to take the view that recent warming is not predominantly manmade?
No – see again my answer to D.
Answer D: This area is slightly outside my area of expertise. When considering changes over this period we need to consider all possible factors (so human and natural influences as well as natural internal variability of the climate system). Natural influences (from volcanoes and the Sun) over this period could have contributed to the change over this period. Volcanic influences from the two large eruptions (El Chichon in 1982 and Pinatubo in 1991) would exert a negative influence. Solar influence was about flat over this period. Combining only these two natural influences, therefore, we might have expected some cooling over this period.
Professor Jones departed from this consensus when he said: There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not. The MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia.
For it to be global in extent, the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern hemisphere. There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions.
Of course, if the MWP was shown to be global in extent and as warm or warmer than today, then obviously the late 20th Century warmth would not be unprecedented. On the other hand, if the MWP was global, but was less warm than today, then the current warmth would be unprecedented.
Sceptics said this was the first time a senior scientist working with the IPCC had admitted to the possibility that the Medieval Warming Period could have been global, and therefore the world could have been hotter then than now.
Professor Jones criticised those who complained he had not shared his data with them, saying they could always collate their own from publicly available material in the US. And he said the climate had not cooled until recently and then barely at all. The trend is a warming trend.
Mr Harrabin told Radio 4s Today programme that, despite the controversies, there still appeared to be no fundamental flaws in the majority scientific view that climate change was largely man-made.
But Dr Benny Pieser, director of the sceptical Global Warming Policy Foundation, said Professor Joness excuses for his failure to share data were hollow as he had shared it with colleagues and mates.
He said that until all the data was released, sceptics could not test it to see if it supported the conclusions claimed by climate change advocates.
He added that the professors concessions over medieval warming were significant because they were his first public admission that the science was not settled.
So if it’s not settled, then there is no “consensus” and the “errors” just keep coming.
But that will not shake the faith of the Global Warming Religionist.
Just rational people.
V – If you have confidence in your science why didn’t you come out fighting like the UK government’s drugs adviser David Nutt when he was criticised?
I don’t feel this question merits an answer.
Until the next time gentle reader… 🙂