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RE: [greenyes] Global Warming - The Hockey Stick & The Risks of Overstatement
	Bear in mind the Wall Street Journal's political agenda.  Global warming is bad for
corporate profits, so best just to ignore it for as long as possible, eh?  Anyway, the
general point of the hockey stick is that that there has been a general warming trend
through the 20th century, more or less consistent with emissions growth from the
industrial revolution, and that this warming trend is historically anomalous (graphing in
the shape of a long flat "handle" with a distinct upward curve at the end).  Much of the
debate over the hockey stick has centered around whether the so-called medieval warm
period might not have been as warm as the 20th century; those who believe it was argue
that what we have seen in the 20th century then might have natural causes.
	As the article briefly mentions, all of this is probably somewhat beside the point
(except insofar as it bears upon the utility of the various models used to predict future
climate change)   since the last 15 years saw sharp temperature increases that have no
natural explanation.  www.realclimate.org (a site run by actual climate scientists) has
quite a lot on all of this.
	The bit on the hurricane issue is classic WSJ.  The big reinsurance companies (the most
conservative institutions on this planet) have been openly sounding the alarm about
increasing storm energy for the last couple of years, plus the last South Atlantic summer
saw the first hurricane ever recorded there.  The trick with hurricanes and global warming
is that even if there is more energy available for the hurricanes the warmth might result
in a degrading of the other atmospheric conditions necessary for their formation (i.e.,
it's possible we could get a whole bunch more big nasty thunderstorms but no hurricanes as
such).  Trenberth obviously believes the odds are in favor of more hurricanes.  This
debate happens in terms of the long-term  trends; nobody, Trenberth included, is pointing
to last year's heavy seasons in both the North Atlantic and Eastern Pacific and claiming
that they are specific consequences of global warming.  The upshot is that the other guy
resigned because Trenberth has more credibility within the scientific community.
	-- Steve Bloom


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Patty Bates-Ballard [mailto:pattyballard@no.address]
> Sent: Monday, February 14, 2005 12:20 PM
> To: 'Peter Anderson'; greenyes@no.address
> Subject: RE: [greenyes] Global Warming - The Hockey Stick & The Risks of
> Overstatement
>
>
> Interesting.  Briefly, what is your comment on this, Peter?
>
> -Patty
>  
> Patty Bates-Ballard
> Public Relations Director
> EnviroGLAS Products, Inc.
> 214-373-1787
> www.enviroglasproducts.com
> "Treat the Earth well. It was not given to us by our parents; it was loaned
> to us by our children."  -Ecologist Lee Talbot
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter Anderson [mailto:anderson@no.address]
> Sent: Monday, February 14, 2005 1:22 PM
> To: GreenYes
> Subject: [greenyes] Global Warming - The Hockey Stick & The Risks of
> Overstatement
>
> WALL STREET JOURNAL
>
> February 14, 2005
>
>
> Global Warring
> In Climate Debate, The 'Hockey Stick' Leads to a Face-Off Nonscientist
> Assails a Graph Environmentalists Use, And He Gets a Hearing Defenders Call
> Attack Political
> By ANTONIO REGALADO
> Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
>
> One of the pillars of the case for man-made global warming is a graph
> nicknamed the hockey stick. It's a reconstruction of temperatures over the
> past 1,000 years based on records captured in tree rings, corals and other
> markers. The stick's shaft shows temperatures oscillating slightly over the
> ages. Then comes the blade: The mercury swings sharply upward in the 20th
> century.
>
> The eye-catching image has had a big impact. Since it was published four
> years ago in a United Nations report, hundreds of environmentalists,
> scientists and policy makers have used the hockey stick in presentations and
>
> brochures to make the case that human activity in the industrial era is
> causing dangerous global warming.
>
> But is the hockey stick true?
>
> According to a semiretired Toronto minerals consultant, it's not. After
> spending two years and about $5,000 of his own money trying to double-check
> the influential graphic, Stephen McIntyre says he has found significant
> oversights and errors. He claims its lead author, climatologist Michael Mann
>
> of the University of Virginia, and colleagues used flawed methods that yield
>
> meaningless results.
>
> Dr. Mann vigorously disagrees. On a Web site launched with the help of an
> environmental group (www.realclimate.org1), he has sought to debunk the
> debunking, and counter what he calls a campaign by fossil-fuel interests to
> discredit his work. "It's a battle of truth versus disinformation," he says.
>
> But some other scientists are now paying attention to Mr. McIntyre. Although
>
> a scientific outsider, the 57-year-old has forced Dr. Mann to publish a
> minor correction. Now a critique by Mr. McIntyre and an ally is being
> published in a respected scientific journal. Some mainstream scientists who
> harbored doubts about the hockey stick say its comeuppance is overdue.
>
> The clash has grown into an all-out battle involving dueling Web logs
> (www.climateaudit.org2), a powerful senator and a score of other scientists.
>
> Mr. McIntyre's new paper is circulating inside energy companies and
> government agencies. Canada's environment ministry has ordered a review.
>
> Mr. McIntyre's critique isn't going to settle the broader global-warming
> debate. Indeed, he takes no strong position on whether fossil-fuel use is
> heating the planet or, if so, how to cope. He just says he has found a flaw
> in a main leg supporting the global-warming consensus, the consensus that
> led to an international initiative taking effect this week: Kyoto.
>
> "...
> "...
> "...
> "...
> "...
> The problem, says Mr. McIntyre, is that Dr. Mann's mathematical technique in
>
> drawing the graph is prone to generating hockey-stick shapes even when
> applied to random data. Therefore, he argues, it proves nothing.
>
> Statistician Francis Zwiers of Environment Canada, a government agency, says
>
> he now agrees that Dr. Mann's statistical method "preferentially produces
> hockey sticks when there are none in the data." Dr. Zwiers, chief of the
> Canadian agency's Center for Climate Modeling and Analysis, says he hasn't
> had time to study Dr. Mann's rebuttals in detail and can't say who is right.
> Dr. Mann, while agreeing that his mathematical method tends to find
> hockey-stick shapes, says this doesn't mean its results in this case are
> wrong. Indeed, Dr. Mann says he can create the same shape from the climate
> data using completely different math techniques.
>
> "...
> "...
> "...
> "...
> Some scientists believe the debate has little bearing on the broad case for
> man-made warming. That's because, they say, other studies of past
> temperatures also indicate that the late 20th century was unusually warm.
> Recent temperature increases also square with the known effects of
> greenhouse gases. "The main punch line still appears in many other studies,"
>
> says Jonathan Overpeck, a climate specialist at the University of Arizona.
> He shares some other scientists' concern that critics have unfairly singled
> out Dr. Mann's work. A variety of critics appear to be "on some kind of
> witch hunt," Dr. Overpeck says.
> "...
> "...
> "...
> "...
> Now the IPCC is preparing a new global warming report, due in 2007, and
> charges of exaggeration are again flying. A U.S. hurricane researcher, Chris
>
> Landsea, quit the U.N. body last month after an IPCC senior author, Kevin
> Trenberth, said storms could get worse because of global warming. Dr.
> Landsea called that idea unsupported by data and said the IPCC was
> "motivated by pre-conceived agendas." Dr. Trenberth, defending his analysis,
>
> said his critic is the one "politicizing" the science.
> As the IPCC revisits the warming issue -- and the hockey stick -- it is
> taking account of all views, including Mr. McIntyre's, say the group's
> leaders.
> Mr. McIntyre says he intends to continue his audit of climate science and
> has demanded that other researchers send him details of their work. He isn't
>
> satisfied with the responses so far. "When I ask them for additional data,
> you can imagine how cooperative they are," he says.
> _________________________
> Peter Anderson, President
> RECYCLEWORLDS CONSULTING
> 4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
> Madison, WI 53705-4964
> Ph: (608) 231-1100
> Fax: (608) 233-0011
> Cell: (608) 698-1314
> eMail: anderson@no.address
> web: www.recycleworlds.net
>
>
>



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