2010-09-26 20:05:47New survey of climate scientists by von Storch and Bray
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.185.151.34

There's a new paper by von Storch and Bray publishing their results of a survey of climate scientists:

A Survey of the Perspectives of Climate Scientists Concerning Climate Science and Climate Change

One significant quote echoes a major theme from Graham's upcoming blog post that the IPCC actually underestimates climate responses:

Results also suggest rather than a single group proclaiming the IPCC does not represent consensus, there are now two groups, one claiming the IPCC makes overestimations (a group previously labeled skeptics, deniers, etc.) and a relatively new formation of a group (many of whom have participated in the IPCC process) proclaiming that IPCC tends to underestimate some climate related phenomena.

Lots of interesting questions but the three that stick out for me are:

20. How convinced are you that climate change, whether natural or anthropogenic, is occurring now?


21. How convinced are you that most of recent or near future climate change is, or will be, a result of anthropogenic causes?

22. How convinced are you that climate change poses a very serious and dangerous threat to humanity?

Of course, there's the WUWT take, predictably focusing on the areas of climate science where there is still greater uncertainty.

Anyway, interesting stuff and plenty to discuss, in case anyone is interested to post about this paper and its implications.

2010-09-26 21:42:10I'll do it!
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
86.147.249.212

I quite fancy this - seems a logical progression from the Freudenburg item, and I think I'll feed a little of this back into that article before going live (the quote John used fits nicely).

The WUWT piece deserves some attention. It is shamefully tilted, but until I read the paper I can't tell by how much. I may develop a third item on the blog reporting of the paper, if I have time this week...we'll see.

2010-09-26 22:50:54Apparently the Von Storch paper needs to be taken with a grain of salt
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.185.151.34
Steve Lewandowsky informs me that the climate survey was conducted online and the login details were leaked among denialist circles. So I'm not sure if that was accounted for in the final results.
2010-09-26 23:04:09Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
142.162.201.109
Who is Steve Lewandowsky?
2010-09-26 23:26:51
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.114.60
I'm not a statistician, but it surprises me that the chosen bell-shaped curve peaks in the 2nd-to-last column even though the columns continue to rise to the very end.
2010-09-26 23:42:12Looking at the WUWT posting
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.114.60

"As Judith Curry has been noting over at her weblog, there is considerable uncertainty regarding the building blocks of climate science. The scientists know this. The politicians, propagandists and the converted acolytes haven’t gotten the message. If this survey does not educate them, nothing will."

 The entire report is some 83 to 121 pages, depending on what you want to look at, so I'm not going to get to it very soon. However, based on the sorts of things that WUWT picks at in their review (my focus would be to look at what is meant by "adequate"; as in the case, "Most scientists don't feel the understanding of X is adequate": Heck, most scientists would agree that more understanding is needed, but the real issue is, Do we understand enough of what is going on to declare a problem? I bet the answer is Yes, regardless of whether the understanding is "adequate". I could easily have declared that the understanding of nuclear physics was "inadequate" in 1945 - but it didn't stop them from building a working bomb, did it?), this is a pretty weak statement.

It should not be hard to focus the attention of the target audience on the bottom-line issues covered in the report. w/o having studied it in detail, I'm pretty sure what the results will be. In that event, I will gladly agree with WUWT: "If this survey does not "educate" them, nothing will." Maybe it will be the last straw for those desperately clinging to the tired-out Oregon Petition.

 

 

2010-09-27 07:31:35Steve Lewandowsky
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.185.151.34
He's a cognitive scientist from the Uni of Western Australia, has done a fair bit of research into psychology and climate science. He'd corresponded with Bray, coauthor of this survey, so was familiar with some of the issues wih their methodology.
2010-09-27 08:42:41what's adequate
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
71.137.148.215

Agreed that Fuller's piece on WUWT is horrendous.  As neal noted, the key question is how "adequate" is defined.  I would certainly agree that our understanding of clouds is not "adquate".  The same for our data collection efforts (see Trenberth's 'missing heat'), and so on.  But it's important to determine what's meant by "adequate" in the context of the study (if it's even defined), and what we should conclude from that.  For example, are the interviewed scientists saying the data is inadequate to act on AGW (obviously not), or that they're simply dissatisfied with the data available (scientists usually are), or something else entirely?

And of course Fuller completely ignores the critical questions noted by John.  This could definitely make for a very good SkS article.  I think Graham could do a nice job with it.

2010-09-27 08:54:55Excerpt from Steve's email
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.185.151.34

I'm sure Steve won't mind if I excerpt from the email he sent me about von Storch's paper:

Got the paper some time ago and I have corresponded with Bray. He seems like a nice guy but the survey data are apparently compromised by the login and password information having been circulated on a denialist mailing list. I have a copy of that email (via Deltoid).
Bray also violated all internet survey methodological standards by not recording dates, times, and IP numbers of respondents (I know this from him personally). He thus has no way to check or verify the integrity of his data. In other words, the data are possibly (probably?) useless, although the published paper seems to include more data than the previous unpublished report which was entirely compromised as just stated.
Now, all that said, the results are not particularly distressing from our perspective, and he correctly identifies that there is a large segment of the scientific community who think that the IPCC understated the problem.
Overall, though, this study should not have been published without the authors demonstrating the integrity of their data—I doubt that they could.
2010-09-27 12:09:22Background info on survey methodology
Stephan Lewandowsky
Stephan Lewandowsky
stephan.lewandowsky@googlemail...
123.200.235.158

Hi all, see here for background on the survey problems: http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2005/05/bray.php 

I believe that at least a subset of the data reported in the published paper relies on the data in the unpublished survey critiqued by Deltoid.

 

 By the way, a Swedish journalist, Jens Ergon, has done a better controlled survey of Swedish cllimate scientists and their publications  and found the usual 97% agreement on AGW. This was reported on Swedish TV and I have corresponded with him.

2010-09-27 12:22:30Swedish survey
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.185.151.34
Steve, thanks for the info. I don't suppose that Swedish survey is published online? (and available in English :-)
2010-09-27 15:03:25The moral dilemma
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
86.147.249.212

Well, the problems with the data integrity do throw something of a spanner in the works. If I were to write this up, I don't see how I could be less than candid about the problems, which would in turn sufficiently dilute the value of the research. Climate contrarians will jump on the flaws and hammer them to the exclusion of all else (surprised WUWT didn't do this already), so I'm rather put off writing about it.

Anyone else got a view on the practicality of focusing on this?