2011-01-21 14:15:53Article on skepticism aimed at The Guardian - feedback please!
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
71.140.0.210

You guys may  have heard, an Argentinian environmental group released a report which wrongly said the planet would warm 2.4°C above pre-industrial by 2020 (that's about 1.5°C in the next 9 years!).  As it so happens, the report made the exact same errors as Lindzen did in a recent article.

So I put together A Case Study in Climate Science Integrity examining the reactions to both.  Keep in mind that the target audience for this article is The Guardian - we're going to try to get them to pick it up.  So I tried to keep it sufficiently simple for the general public to understand.

It's kind of rough - I tried to draft it up quickly because The Guardian recently ran an article on the Argentinian report, so we're trying to strike while the iron is hot.  I'm not sure about the title, and the introduction is pretty rough.  But have a look and see what you think.  Again, keep the target audience in mind.  Thanks. 

2011-01-21 14:35:40This is good, Dana
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
60.231.100.70

I think it's a great level for SkS but possibly still a little technical for the Guardian. Perhaps use some plainer language. Eg -

"global warming is the planet's way of restoring energy equilibrium" => "global warming is the planet's way of restoring balance"

As the average person associates aerosols with spray cans, perhaps add (small atmospheric particles) after it.

"We will eventually experience the warming, but it won't occur immediately." - would it be pandering to use "it won't happen overnight but it will happen"?... okay, forget I mentioned it! :-)

Comment: I like how you pin WUWT to Lindzen. Good that you mention how Lindzen's piece propogated.

Where you say 'Self-proclaimed skeptics', can I suggest adding quotes around skeptics like:

  • Self-proclaimed "skeptics"

Great line: "In this case study, the true skeptics are the climate scientists, bloggers, and journalists." The article starts strong and ends strong which is always key. Great stuff, my only concern is whether the average person will be able to handle the technical middle.

2011-01-21 14:47:50Section on aerosols
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
60.231.100.70

This is just a suggestion - thinking of ways to simplify the technical parts of the article. For example, perhaps the whole 'Neglecting cooling factors' could be boiled down to this (dodging the CO2 equivalence stuff which is confusing for most people and unnecessary for the central argument):

Both the FEU and Dr. Lindzen also fail to take into account the cooling effect from aerosols. These are small atmospheric particles, coming from man-made pollution, that block sunlight and cool the Earth's surface. By accounting for all human-caused warming but neglecting our cooling effects, Dr. Lindzen and the FEU both overestimated how much warming we expect to see in the present and near future.  Interestingly, the two drew dramatically different conclusions from their mistakes.  The FEU concluded that we should expect to see exceptionally rapid global warming over the next decade, while Dr. Lindzen concluded that global warming is nothing to worry about.  Neither conclusion is correct.

 

2011-01-21 15:45:10good suggestions
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
71.140.0.210

I like the equilibrium -> balance, and good point about the aerosols.  I'll add the skeptic quotation marks too.

I don't want to take out entire discussion of the non-CO2 GHGs, but I think I can do it without going into CO2-equivalents.  I changed it to this (now updated in the blog post):

Both the FEU and Dr. Lindzen calculated the amount of global warming we expect from all man-made greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, etc.).  The problem  is that neither accounted for man-made emissions of aerosols (small particles from fossil fuel combustion), which block sunlight and cool the Earth's surface.

By accounting for all human-caused warming effects but neglecting our cooling effects, Dr. Lindzen and the FEU both overestimated how much warming we expect to see in the present and near future.  Interestingly, the two drew dramatically different conclusions from their mistakes.  The FEU concluded that we should expect to see exceptionally rapid global warming over the next decade, while Dr. Lindzen concluded that global warming is nothing to worry about.  Neither conclusion is correct.

 

 

2011-01-21 15:58:04Explaining climate lag simply
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
60.231.100.70

This is the Guardian's take on climate lag:

In this instance, climate scientists said it appeared Hisas had overlooked the influence exerted by the oceans, which absorb heat, thus delaying the effects of increasing concentrations of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.

The key point you want to communicate is that our physical understanding of climate tells us the planet will warm a certain amount when we increase CO2 levels. But the warming doesn't all happen instantly. Just as it takes time for the water to boil when you turn the kettle on, so to it also takes time for the warming from increasing greenhouse gases to take full effect.

Remember Randy Olsen's book "Don't be such a scientist". We need to let go of the need to get everything technically perfect when explaining science to the general audience.

2011-01-21 17:46:54
Glenn Tamblyn

glenn@thefoodgallery.com...
121.214.101.34

Nice job Dana. With the changes after John's comments I like it as is.

Also, including John's graphic on global warming distribution is effective and it has another benefit. Although it is germane to one of the errors, it serves another perhaps unintended purpose; Helping to steer people, whether sceptics or believers in AGW, towards looking at the question from a more global perspective, rather than thinking locally.

2011-01-21 19:42:12
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
192.84.150.209
Great job Dana. A few comments.

I think that a better analogy than the cooling of a cup of cofee would be its warming when you turn the fire on.

When you talk about the cooling factors you only say about aerosols but Lindzen (don't know about FEU) did not take into account any cooling feedback (his beloved cloud feedback). Consider to add to the first paragraph somenthing like "and other cooling factors". In the second paragraph you say "neglecting our cooling effects" but the plural comes from nowhere.

"the IPCC estimates that if we stopped emitting greenhouse gases today, the planet would continue to warm another 0.6°C before reaching equilibrium."
Check if it is if we stop emissions or if we keep CO2 concentration constant at current level. It does not change much in practice, but given that it is a quote from the IPCC it must be the right one.

"Meteorologist Anthony Watt"
is he really a meteorologist or is he a tv weatherman? Check how The Guardian calls him. Anyways, add "former".
2011-01-21 20:53:59Some issues of style - and some more substantive
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.37.105

 I have a range of suggestions. Some of them are a shift in wording, to sharpen the article a bit.

However, I also propose a re-working of the statement of the errors made by FEU and Lindzen respectively, so that:

- the essential identity of the error is emphasized; but

- it is clearer how they can draw opposite conclusions.

My specific proposals are indicated as: "old text" => "new text"; the unquoted matter is my commentary.


Neal

 

 

 a) Pet peeve of mine:

"and quality scientific journalism"

=> "and high-quality scientific journalism"

 

b)  Intro:

"In the past week, two key examples have emerged illustrating how both sides of the climate science debate react to mistakes. In both cases, scientists on either side made the same errors, but the response to these errors on both sides revealed a sharp contrast.   Both mistakes involved the same two scientific errors, but resulted in opposite miscalculations as to how much the planet should have warmed by now, and within the next decade."

=> "In the past week, two key examples have emerged illustrating how the two sides of the climate science debate react to mistakes. In both cases, the scientists made the same basic error, but drew opposite conclusions (both wrong) about the near-term warming of the planet. The media response to these miscalculations by each side show a sharp contrast."

 

c) Ocean lag: I felt this section needed to be clarified considerably: the statement that "global warming is the planet's way of restoring the balance" seems very vague to me, it doesn't convey a clear picture of what is going on. And I also find Scott Mandia's quotation unfocused and unhelpful: he talks about liberating extra heat in the coffee, but then says that the coffee is getting heated faster than it is cooling. The images conflict with each other, and both are untrue to the current situation: the issue is not that there is all this heat in the ocean, the issue is that the water is COLD, and to heat the planet as a whole, you have to warm up all that water as well.

"Both Dr. Lindzen and the FEU use the IPCC range of climate sensitivity, which is the factor that tells us how much the planet will warm in response to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide.  What both parties neglect is that the IPCC value tells us how much the planet will warm once it reaches an energy equilibrium.  When the greenhouse effect increases, it effectively traps heat and causes a planetary energy imbalance - global warming is the planet's way of restoring the balance.  However, this takes time.  Over 90% of the energy imbalance goes into the oceans:

As Professor Scott Mandia explains, we don't immediately see that heat at the planet's surface:

Consider a cup of hot coffee that is cooling over time.  It cools because it is releasing heat into the air above but it takes time for all of the “extra” heat in the coffee to be fully liberated.  However the better analogy is the one where the coffee (ocean) is gaining heat faster than it is losing heat."

=> "Both Dr. Lindzen and the FEU rely upon the IPCC's estimated range of values for the climate sensitivity, which is the factor that tells us how much the planet will warm in response to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide. What both parties stumbled over is the fact that this factor tells us how much the planet must warm to reach an equilibrium in radiated power: When the greenhouse effect is increased, the Earth's heat radiation is impeded - global warming is the planet's way of restoring its full ability to get rid of heat. However, this warming doesn't happen instantly: Just as when you put a turkey in the oven and turn it on, the turkey's temperature doesn't instantly reach 82°C, because it takes time for the power of the oven to heat the turkey to the required level.

In the case of the Earth, the illustration below shows that over 90% of the heating has to go into warming the oceans. That means that even when we stop increasing the greenhouse effect, there will be a considerable delay while the oceans, lands, etc. warm to their respective equilibrium temperatures."

 

d) I've tried to clarify where the FEU and Lindzen erred in parallel, and how their reasoning differed. Also: there is no "global warming" stored in the oceans: What is stored in the oceans is COLDNESS, which is delaying the attainment of the equilibrium temperature. We have additional global warming "in the pipeline" because it will take awhile for the radiative power imbalance to overcome the ocean's coldness. Or, to put it more correctly: The issue is that the oceans have vastly more heat capacity than the land or atmosphere, so a lot of heat is required to raise the oceans' temperature (and thus the Earth's); and the power input from the imbalance of the increased greenhouse effect is not huge. So it takes time to impart that amount of heat.

"The FEU made the mistake of thinking that we would experience the full effects of the atmospheric greenhouse gas increase in the next decade.  We will eventually experience the warming, but it won't occur immediately.  Likewise, Dr. Lindzen has made the mistake of ignoring the fact that due to this lag, we have not yet experienced all of the warming from the energy imbalance caused by our greenhouse gas increases.  In fact, the planet has warmed approximately 0.8°C over the past century, and the IPCC estimates that if we stopped emitting greenhouse gases today, the planet would continue to warm another 0.6°C before reaching equilibrium.  We haven't yet seen as much global warming as we expect to because it is "in the pipeline", stored in the oceans."

=>"The mistake made by the FEU was to assume that the full impact of the added CO2 would be reached within a decade: that was wrong, the lag is far greater. The mistake made by Dr. Lindzen was to assume that the full impact of the CO2 added to date was already being felt: that was wrong, for exactly the same reason. In fact, the planet has warmed approximately 0.8°C over the past century, and the IPCC estimates that if we were to stop emitting greenhouse gases today, the planet would continue to warm another 0.6°C before reaching equilibrium."

e) Cooling factors:

"The problem is that neither accounted for"

=> "However, neither accounted for"

 

f) Again, more clarity on how they arrived at their opposite conclusions:

"By accounting for all human-caused warming effects but neglecting our cooling effects, Dr. Lindzen and the FEU both overestimated how much warming we expect to see in the present and near future.  Interestingly, the two drew dramatically different conclusions from their mistakes.  The FEU concluded that we should expect to see exceptionally rapid global warming over the next decade, while Dr. Lindzen concluded that global warming is nothing to worry about.  Neither conclusion is correct."

=> "By accounting for all human-caused warming effects but neglecting our cooling effects, Dr. Lindzen and the FEU both over-estimated how much of the warming we should be expecting to see in the present and near future. However, the two drew dramatically different conclusions from this mistake: The FEU, thinking that we should expect to see the full equilibrium temperature for our level of CO2 almost immediately, concluded that we should expect to see exceptionally rapid global warming over the next decade; whereas Dr. Lindzen, thinking that we are already experiencing the full equilibrium temperature for our level of CO2 now, concluded that the temperature in the year 2100 will be nothing much to worry about."

 

g) Reaction to the FEU mistake:

"The response to the FEU errors has been very comprehensive."

=> "The response to the FEU errors has been straightforward and comprehensive."

 

h) Reaction to Lindzen's mistake: (btw, that should be "Reaction to Lindzen's Mistake", not "Reaction to the Lindzen Mistake")

 "Meteorologist Anthony Watts' popular global warming skeptic blog WattsUpWithThat soon ran Lindzen's article with no commentary or analysis."

=> 

"By contrast, meteorologist Anthony Watts' popular global-warming skeptic blog, WattsUpWithThat, soon ran Lindzen's article with no commentary or analysis."

 

i) More on WUWT:

"One wonders whether Watts will be as critical of his own blog's propagation of other scientists' errors."

=> "One wonders when Watts will correct his own blog's propagation of Lindzen's errors."

 

j) True skepticism:

"Yet mistakes by a fellow skeptic like Dr. Lindzen are ignored, and his erroneous conclusions are propagated and celebrated."

=> "Yet mistakes by a fellow skeptic like Dr. Lindzen are passed over in silence, and his erroneous conclusions are promoted and propagated."

 

k) More skepticism:

"True skepticism involves examining all evidence with an equally critical eye.  A true skeptic should look for mistakes made by those on his side, and if he encounters them, he should acknowledge and correct them.  In this case study, the true skeptics are the climate scientists, bloggers, and journalists.  Those who wish to be considered skeptics should take note of their commendable behavior."

=> "Skepticism, in its true sense, means examining all evidence with an equally critical eye.  A true skeptic should also look for mistakes made by those on his side; and if he encounters them, he should acknowledge and correct them.  In this case study, the true skeptics were the climate scientists and journalists.  Those who wish to be considered skeptics should take note of their commendable behavior."

 

l) Quotation for possible addition to the end:

"In both these examples, it is interesting to note that the same conceptual error led to opposite conclusions, but each in accord with the mindset of the scientist involved: "pro-environment" or "anti-warmist". In a discussion that is so polarized, it is useful to keep in mind that we are all liable to interpret things in the way most conformant with our expectations. A word of advice about scientific detachment from Richard Feynman: "The first principle is that you must not fool YOURSELF - and YOU are the easiest person to fool!"

2011-01-21 21:43:17
MarkR
Mark Richardson
m.t.richardson2@gmail...
192.171.166.144
More likely to get in if you cut down the word count significantly (I know I recommend this to almost every post...) but it's currently over 1k words. A politics article on the website front page is 800. Their cover of the Siddall et al retraction including a rough commentary on sea level rise estimates was just over 500. It's also written like a blog post: which isn't too bad. It might make an opinion piece.
2011-01-21 23:13:09
MarkR
Mark Richardson
m.t.richardson2@gmail...
192.171.166.144

Also, British English is sceptic/sceptical. :P

My edited version below:

 

 

Everyone, even scientists, make mistakes: should we trust our science with those who admit to and correct them, or those who deny and ignore them? In the past week we’ve seen 2 examples where people made the same fundamental mistakes in their calculations, but got opposite results and received very different reactions.

The Errors

An Argentinian environmental group called Universal Ecological Fund (FEU) released a report claiming that the planet will warm about 1.5°C more by 2020.  Elsewhere Dr. Richard Lindzen, a climate scientist who thinks that human caused global warming is small, said:

"According to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the greenhouse forcing from man made greenhouse gases is already about 86% of what one expects from a doubling of CO2...and alarming predictions depend on models for which the sensitivity to a doubling for CO2 is greater than 2C which implies that we should already have seen much more warming than we have seen thus far".

Ocean Lag

Both Dr. Lindzen and the FEU use the IPCC expectations of global warming, but both ignore that this is the temperature rise once the Earth has finished heating up.

When you turn the heating on it still feels cold until the boiler has time to heat the water, radiators and air. You can’t work out the final temperature from turning on the heating until you’ve waited until the house stops heating up.

We warmed approximately 0.8°C over the past century, and the IPCC estimates that there is another 0.6oC in the pipeline just from the gases already in the atmosphere as the oceans take time to warm. The FEA assumed all the warming would happen by 2020 whilst Dr Lindzen claims it should all have happened already: both are wrong.

Neglecting Cooling Factors

Both the FEU and Dr. Lindzen calculated all the global warming expected from man-made greenhouse gases but didn’t account for man-made aerosol pollution, small particles that block sunlight and cool us down.

By ignoring these cooling effects, both overestimate how much warming we expect in the short run. The FEU pretended that aerosols will disappear immediately so we’d heat up quickly, whilst Dr. Lindzen pretends that they don’t exist so that we must have seen all of the greenhouse gas warming already.

Reaction to the FEU Mistake

Journalists, climate bloggers and climate scientists informed the FEU of their mistakes before the report's release but unfortunately it was released anyway. Newspapers and; including The Guardian, RealClimate, The Huffington Post and many others reported and corrected the errors.  Rather than deny, ignore, or spread the mistakes, scientists and the media corrected them.

Reaction to the Lindzen Mistake

Meteorologist Anthony Watts' global warming skeptic blog WattsUpWithThat ran Lindzen's article with no commentary or analysis. Lindzen's errors were re-published by The National Review and other blogs and media sources, with no comments on the mistakes. 

Ironically, Watts' blog also criticised Scientific American for initially publishing the FEU errors: which were corrected within hours in a new SciAm article

True Skepticism

These are examples of self-proclaimed "skeptics" who will pounce on any mistake unless it’s by a fellow skeptic like Dr. Lindzen, in which case it is ignored, spread and celebrated.

A true skeptic encountering any mistake should acknowledge and correct them. In this case the true skeptics were the climate scientists, bloggers, and journalists. 

2011-01-22 04:44:45thanks
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
38.223.231.252

Good comments all, much appreciated.  I incorporated most of Riccardo's comments.  Striking a balance between neal's and Mark's was tough.  I tended to err more on the long side, but it's under 1,000 words now.

John and I also decided the Guardian might be more likely to run the article with the section headings removed, so that's what I did.

For the ocean lag, I tried to simplify by taking out the analogies altogether, and instead just saying "However, this warming doesn't happen instantly.  The Earth is covered in oceans, and as anyone who has tried to make a hot beverage will tell you, water is slow to heat up."

The article has been updated.  Let me know if there are any other comments.

2011-01-22 05:28:58Fine-tuning
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.37.105

It looks good! I just have some slight polishing to suggest:

a) More parallel construction: add another "with":

"Should we trust our science with those who admit to and correct them, or those who deny and ignore them?"

=>

"Should we trust our science with those who admit to and correct them, or with those who deny and ignore them?"

 

b) Italicization for emphasis:

"The mistake made by the FEU was to assume that the full impact of the added CO2 would be reached within a decade: that was wrong, the lag is far greater.  The mistake made by Dr. Lindzen was to assume that the full impact of the CO2 added to date was already being felt:  that was wrong, for exactly the same reason."

=>

"The mistake made by the FEU was to assume that the full impact of the added CO2 would be reached within a decade: that was wrong, the lag is far greater.  The mistake made by Dr. Lindzen was to assume that the full impact of the CO2 added to date was already being felt:  that was wrong, for exactly the same reason."

 

c) Re-wording Lindzen's position in line with his quote, in the last 2 lines of the extract:

"The FEU, thinking that we should expect to see the full equilibrium temperature for our level of CO2 almost immediately, concluded that we should expect to see exceptionally rapid global warming over the next decade; whereas Dr. Lindzen, thinking that we are already experiencing the full equilibrium temperature for our level of CO2 now, concluded that the temperature in the year 2100 will be nothing much to worry about."

=>

"The FEU, thinking that we should expect to see the full equilibrium temperature for our level of CO2 almost immediately, concluded that we should expect to see exceptionally rapid global warming over the next decade; whereas Dr. Lindzen, thinking that we are already experiencing the full equilibrium temperature for our level of CO2 now, concluded that the temperature at the time we reach CO2 doubling will be nothing much to worry about."

 

d)  Are Lindzen's article still being promoted by WUWT and other sites? If so, use present tense:

"Lindzen's errors continued to spread, unacknowledged and uncorrected."

=>

"Lindzen's errors continue to spread, unacknowledged and uncorrected."

 

e)  Addition of a key word:

"Those who wish to be considered skeptics should take note of their commendable behavior."

=>
"Those who wish to be considered honest skeptics should take note of their commendable behavior."

2011-01-22 06:16:08italics
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
38.223.231.252
Thanks neal, I'll make those changes.  Except newspaper articles don't generally use italics and bold for emphasis, right?  That's why I tried not to use them.  I agree they're useful in a blog post, but again, I'm trying to keep the Guardian in mind.
2011-01-22 07:21:30
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
93.147.82.65
Nothing to add, good to go.
2011-01-22 07:21:44Published
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
60.231.100.70
Also emailed the Guardian and all the other climate bloggers so hopefully this will get some attention over the next few days.
2011-01-22 08:19:09Looks good
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.37.105

I just received it in the email. Looks great!

It'll be interesting to see if there is any reaction. It occurs to me that, although there has been a lot of grumbling about Lindzen and his controversial research, I don't know that I've seen anything calling him to task for actual mistakes in the non-specialist world (i.e., beyond RealClimate). I'm sure that he has a whole bunch of WSJ op-eds that will be full of half-truths or worse. Amazing, really, because his research was good enough to get him an endowed chair at MIT.

I guess it's another Anakin Skywalker => Darth Vader transformation.

 

2011-01-22 08:37:18Lindzen's illusions
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
60.231.100.70
We'll be taking him to task soon enough in our Lindzen Illusions series (I've gone cold on the Lindzen Lunacy title).
2011-01-22 09:57:54
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.217.17
Lindzen Illusions does have a nice ring to it. Great post too Dana.
2011-01-22 10:13:47Lindzen
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
38.223.231.252

Thanks guys.

The thing about Lindzen is that he's very clever about his deceptions.  I got in an argument with a skeptic at Bart's blog (who was apparently directed to my comments by Keith Kloor) when I criticized Lindzen for making the same mistakes as the FEU.  The skeptic argued that Lindzen had discussed aerosols, he just argued/assumed that the net effect from aerosols/black carbon is about zero.  I responded by pointing out that Lindzen had referenced Ramanathan, whose most recent research concluded that aerosols + black carbon result in a very strong net negative forcing (over 1 Wm-2).  So Lindzen's only source to substantiate his position actually refuted it.

Then the skeptic pointed out that I couldn't prove that Lindzen had ignored thermal inertia, because his conclusion was very vague and subjective ("we should have seen much more warming by now"), and he didn't explicitly mention the oceans or anything.  My response was that I don't think you can get to "much more warming" without leaving out thermal inertia.  But then I also found a paper by Stefan Rahmstorf back in 2008, where he took Lindzen to task for making this exact same erroneous argument.  And in that case, Lindzen had quantified how much warming he thought we should have seen, and Rahmstorf was able to show that Lindzen had ignored the ocean lag.

But that's the thing about Lindzen - he's careful to say mostly accurate things, but put things in a way that he knows will mislead his audience.  The 'no statistically significant warming in 15 years' statement, which he continues to make, is another great example.  It's basically true, but the only reason to say it is that you know your audience will assume it means 'no warming'.

2011-01-22 10:25:26Brilliant idea for a title
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.37.105

I think that's the important thing to point out about Lindzen: That he's deliberately saying things in a deceptive manner. Some of them are starkly wrong, others are just intentionally misleading.

Ooh, I just got a great idea: The title "Lindzen's Illusions" is floating around. But it's more like "Lindzen's Lies", but that's a bit strong; or "Lindzen's Slight of Hand" has the right meaning, but no alliteration.

So here it is:   ==>> "Lindzen's Legerdemain" <<==

I bet nobody can beat that!

2011-01-22 10:29:41Lindzen's Legerdemain
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
60.231.100.70
Technically, that's perfect. But considering I had to google to find out what legerdemain means, I'm afraid Dana's Lindzen Illusions is still the front runner IMHO.
2011-01-22 10:49:33woot
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
38.223.231.252

Yeah, frontrunner, baby!

I think most people's initial reaction to "Lindzen's Legerdemain" will, like mine, be "WTF does that mean?".  Perhaps too much of a distraction :-)

2011-01-22 10:52:52
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.37.105
...I am a prophet without honor...
2011-01-22 20:58:38Better late?
malamuddy

malamuddy@gmail...
139.168.114.21

Sorry to have joined the party more or less after the event.  I do have more than a few problelms with the article as it currently stands.  In particular, it does not make easy sense to a layperson, the point that you are trying to make is getting lost in a determination to describe the science and it is in danger of seeming a little precious ("The other side is not playing fair").

 Given all that I think it shouold be published - if not he Guardian, then the Australian.

 Para 2.  error should be errors (you talk about two errors later on)

  response should be responses (Gr)

Para 3.  The sentence leading up to the quote is too complex.  The same goes double for the quote itself.  Lindzen's style is elliptical, often ironic or satirical.  I think it is best to ditch the quote.  Its meaning is very unclear to anyone who does not already know what you are talking about.  I would replace the sentrence and quote with:

Dr RL is a prominent climate scientist, who is sceptical of the dangers of global warming.  He argues, in a new essay, that we are already over 80% of the way to the greenhouse gas levels that the intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  claims will cause a catastrophic increase of 2oC in global temperatures.  But global temperatures have only risen by less than 1oC, so, Lindzen argues, The IPCC predictions are wrong and we have nothing to worry about.

 Para 4.  Suggested replacement:

Both Lindzen and the FEU rely upon the IPCC's estimated range of values for climate sensitivity - how much the planet will warm due to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide.  What both parties stumbled over is that this factor tells us how much the planet must warm so that  it can radiate as much heat into space as we receive from the sun.  However this warming doesn't happen instantly.  The Earth is covered in oceans, and that much water will take a long time to heat up.

 

Leave out the diagram.  It interrupts the flow and is not important enough to the argument to use up that much space.  Remember that, for newspapers, the purpose of the article is to fill the spaces in between the advertising.  So Para 5

Over 90% of the heating goes into the oceans.  Even when we stop increasing the level of greenhouse gases, there will be a considerable delay while the oceans warm up to a temperature where they can radiate enough heat to overcome the greenhouse effect that these gases will continue to produce. 

Para starting "By contrast" is too complex.  Suggested alternative:

By contrast, Lindzen's article was quickly picked up by the WattsUpWithThat blog.  This is one of the most popular Global Warming skeptics' sites, run by the former TV weatherman Anthony Watts.  It printed the essay with no commentary or analysis.

Rest of the paragraph as is.

At this stage I think you should go straight to the final paragraph.  The other two seem to dilute the message you are trying to get across and which you have naile in the fourth last paragraph.

 

 


 

 

 

 

2011-01-23 05:48:13thanks
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
71.140.0.210
Thanks malamuddy.  I took some of those suggestions and edited the article accordingly.