2010-08-22 20:51:16Basic rebuttal 40: The IPCC is alarmist
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
217.44.86.17
IPCC Reports: Science or Spin?

Argument No. 40: The IPCC is alarmist and biased towards anthropogenic causes for climate change

"Unquestionably, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was formed to build the scientific case for humanity being the primary cause of global warming. Such a goal is fundamentally unscientific, as it is hostile to alternative hypotheses for the causes of climate change."

Climate scientist Roy Spencer made this statement. He starts by suggesting something highly questionable isn’t open to being questioned. What he seeks to do is suggest, by inference, that the IPCC has an agenda, and this distorts the reports they produce. In other words, Spencer (and others) suggest that the IPCC exaggerates what the science says in favour of anthropogenic global warming. It is perfectly legitimate to question this assertion, since Spencer and others offer no evidence to support it.

Some critics go further, suggesting that the IPCC actively suppresses science that doesn’t support the theory that climate change is being caused by human activities. It is notable this ‘other science’ is rarely produced to support the accusation.

Does the IPCC accurately report the findings of science?

The IPCC was formed to report on a broad range of scientific enquiries into the climate, and our effects on it, and to summarise the science for laypeople. The science they summarise is published so it is simple to compare the primary science with the IPCC reports, and compare both to what actually took place.

There are numerous instances where the IPCC reports, which are summaries of published climate change science, have understated the case - hardly suggesting exaggeration in pursuit of an agenda. Here are some examples:

  • CO2 output from fossil fuels: observed emissions are close to the worst-case projections made by the IPCC, despite them offering a range of potential emission scenarios. (In fact, atmospheric CO2 is increasing ten times faster than any rate detected in ice core data over the last 22,000 years).
  • Sea-level rise is accelerating faster than the IPCC predicted. Actual sea-level rise is 80% higher than the median IPCC projection. By 2100 sea-level rise was predicted by the IPCC to be in the range of 18-59 cm. It is now believed that figure may be far too low, because estimates of contributions from Greenland and Antarctic ice-caps were excluded from AR4 because the data was not considered reliable. (This omission hardly supports the notion that the IPCC seeks to exaggerate global warming trends).
  • Each Arctic summer, sea-ice is melting faster than average predictions in the last IPCC report. The Arctic is experiencing a long-term loss of multi-year ice which is also accelerating.

In many similar cases, the evidence suggests that changes in climate are occurring faster, and with more intensity, than the IPCC have predicted. It is not credible to suggest the reports were biased in favour of the theory of anthropogenic global warming when the evidence demonstrates the IPCC were, in fact, so cautious.

In fact, there is evidence however to suggest that the exact opposite is actually the case, both in terms of the scientific evidence itself (see below) and the way the work of the IPCC is reported. A recent study (Freudenburg 2010) investigated what it calls 'the Asymmetry of Scientific Challenge', the phenomenon in which reports on science fail to evaluate all outcomes, favoring certain probabilities while ignoring others. They found that "...new scientific findings were more than twenty times as likely to support the ASC perspective [that disruption through AGW may be far worse than the IPCC has suggested] than the usual framing of the issue in the U.S. mass media".

Claims that the IPCC is alarmist are not supported by evidence, and there are clear indications that the opposite may be the case.

2010-08-22 23:50:16Spelling
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
93.231.158.92

Hi Graham,

I know that "sceptic" is just as correct as "skeptic". I am however wondering if we should be consistent in how this specific word is spelled on Skeptical Science. What do others think - might this be something for the "style-guide"?

There is a "d" too much in this sentence:

"The IPCC was formed to report on a broad range of scientific enquiries into the climate, and our effects on it, and to summarised the science for laypeople."

Cheers
Baerbel

2010-08-23 01:10:57Style
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
217.44.86.17
Hadn't thought of that, Baerbel,  but you might be right. JC hasn't picked up on the issue yet - I await the views of others. Thanks for the typo - now fixed.
2010-08-24 05:22:45There seems to be a mis-match
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.120.144

between the title of the rebuttal, "IPCC does not represent a scientific consensus," and the thrust of the argument, which is that IPCC predictions have been quite conservative. The first is an issue of process, the second is one of results.

As written, the piece should be a rebuttal against the claim, "IPCC predictions have been alarmist."

If the piece is to be a rebuttal against the "non-consensus", then the argument should be something like:

- all the major scientific societies of the world support the IPCC conclusions about climate change

- the periodic reports of the IPCC are based on the peer-reviewed science of the intervening years

- consensus is reached when the vast majority of experts on a topic don't waste any more time talking about it

Or, as Planck (I believe) put it: "A scientific revolution is complete, not when there is no one left to object; but when, among the younger generation of scientists [in the field], no one wants to take up the struggle for the old point of view." By that criterion, we have long had consensus.

 Also: I would be careful about calling Spencer an "arch-skeptical scientist". He is a legitimate researcher in the field (unlike many other skeptics that can be named); even though I believe he lets his philosophical beliefs/preferences override his good scientific sense from time to time (note that he is an admitted Creationist).

2010-08-24 21:06:09Consistency
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
217.44.86.17

Hi Neal - I used the Spencer quote - and rebutted the argument he makes - because that's how the intermediate argument is opened. If JC changes the intermediate, then I'll amend the basic, but I won't write something that contradicts the intermediate rebuttal. I've already done the (97%) consensus argument, which has its own item. This is about what the science actually says, and inferences that it is exaggerated for the sake of ideology or self-interest.

And my use of 'arch skeptic' is out of deference for his qualifications. What I mean is 'denier'. (Good quote from Planck BTW).

2010-08-25 17:53:11Wot - no thumbs?
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
217.44.86.17
Are the thumbs on strike or something? Did the brown envelope not arrive John?
2010-08-27 20:57:22I ask again...
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
217.44.86.17

Hello? Earth to SkS...

2010-08-28 02:41:20Spencer
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.44.130

is not a denier:

- He doesn't deny AGW is happening

- He doesn't deny the greenhouse effect

 

He is on the skeptical side for evaluation of the consequences; and he seems to think (for religious reasons, in my evaluation) that everything will work out in the end, somehow. 

I wouldn't call him an arch-skeptic. 

Also, as I mentioned before, the article really seems to be directed against a different target than is titled. Your real point is that the IPCC is not alarmist.

2010-08-28 11:28:18
doug_bostrom

dbostrom@clearwire...
184.77.83.151

My eyebrows are a bit raised at the term "arch-skeptic" but I believe Spencer exhibits more fidelity to the old-school meaning of the term "skeptic" than your average garden-variety denier.

There will sometimes unavoidably be some overlap between skeptic arguments, they're not after all part of a coherent system. I see Neal's point about consensus versus agenda but the two skeptical arguments are leaning on at least one leg of the same stool and so there will be some similarities in rebuttals to each. I follow Graham's thrust about the scientific underpinnings being consistent w/the IPCC's work.

Perhaps reweaving one sentence would help clarify?

 

"There are numerous instances where the IPCC reports have been shown to be conservative in the summaries they produced. Here are some examples:"

-->

"IPCC summaries are derived from and consistent with published scientific underpinnings of anthropogenic climate change but tend if anything to understate the case, hardly a suggestion of exaggeration in pursuit of an agenda. Here are some examples:"

This is somewhat duplicative of Graham's last sentence but perhaps that will help to drive the point home?

 

2010-08-28 16:28:35Responses
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
217.44.86.17

"...they're not after all part of a coherent system".

That gets my 'understatement of the week' award!

I take your point about hammering home the message - your version is a bit formal for my tastes, but I've added something along the same lines, so thanks for that.

Doug and Neal - ok, 'arch' now removed.

2010-08-28 17:16:45Thumb all inky and green tonight
doug_bostrom

dbostrom@clearwire...
184.77.83.151
As usual I was using too many words in my example rehash.  Nice!
2010-08-31 03:30:36IMHO this one would be better if it was shorter
Jim Meador

jimm58@gmail...
67.101.223.21

 I'd like to see this one cut down in length. For instance:

"There are numerous instances......which is also accelerating."

I suggest to cut this down as follows:

"In many cases the IPCC reports have understated the case.  For example:  CO2 emissions are close to the worst-case projections made by the IPCC; Sea-level rise is 80% higher than the median IPCC prediction; and arctic sea-ice is melting faster than average predictions in the last IPCC report."

 I want to see basic rebuttals which are substantially shorter than the intermediate rebuttals. In this case the proposed rebuttal, at 433 words, is actually longer than the 424 word intermediate rebuttal!

2010-08-31 04:17:22
doug_bostrom

dbostrom@clearwire...
184.77.83.151
One problem to keep in mind KIR is that avoiding specialized terminology will cause a general increase in word count. "anthropogenic greenhouse gas" becomes "CO2 output from fossil fuels," "Arctic ice anomaly" becomes "the arctic is experiencing a long-term loss of multi-year ice," etc.
2010-08-31 05:15:08
Jim Meador

jimm58@gmail...
67.101.212.126

Hi Doug,

(BTW, I changed my ID to my real name, so 'KIR' is history...) 

I agree, using simpler words can lead to more words. It isn't guaranteed though. Sometimes you can avoid it by choosing different simpler words...e.g. "anthropogenic greenhouse gas" becomes "man-made CO2". "Wordsmithing" is not quite the same as "writing". It takes much more time!!!

Keeping the basic rebuttals short means making tough choices about how much detail to include. That's why my post included a suggestion that reduced 203 words down to 48.

Getting philosophical here, I think the value of the basic rebuttals is to present a very condensed and accessible version of the intermediate rebuttals, not replace them. I'm sure many people will find that they understand the intermediate rebuttals better if they read the basic versions first, and we should encourage that kind of sequencing. (Maybe some day there could be some statistics about it from the page load info?)

-Jim 

 

 

 

2010-08-31 05:43:03More on the IPCC process?
Nicholas Berini

nberini@gmail...
68.197.202.231

I think this post does a great job of highlighting the examples where the IPCC has been (overly) conservative, however I feel it could benefit from explaining the process a little clearer.  

For instance, adding something like:

"To claim the IPCC is 'alarmist' is to grossly misunderstand the process by which the reports are published.  The IPCC is a summary report of the most recent peer-reviewed science from X number of scientists in X countries around the world.  In fact, due to it's consensus nature and requirement for line-by-line government approval, the IPCC reports tend to be 'conservative' rather than 'alarmist'.  Some major examples include:"

I apologize for not knowing the exact numbers or even really knowing exactly how the IPCC publication/gov approval process works, but I do feel this could strengthen this rebuttal.

-NSB 

2010-08-31 18:11:24No changes
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
217.44.86.17

Er...Jim wants less, Nicholas wants more. Me - I'm staying where I am, so give me your thumbs or me and my mates are coming round your house...

2010-09-03 16:37:40Seriously...
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
81.152.234.172
Bump...
2010-09-04 00:36:01
doug_bostrom

dbostrom@clearwire...
184.77.83.151

Loathe though I am to suggest expanding and stirring this can of worms further, perhaps a brief acknowledgement of the recently completed "InterAcademy" review of the IPCC might be worth introducing here?  Alhough it makes some recommendations for changes, all-in-all the report endorses the IPCC's product. Most significantly for the purposes of this rebuttal, it does not appear to find much in the way of substantiation for the Spencer et al's accusations.

Links to Interacademy report and press coverage here:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/thread.php?t=107 

2010-09-04 18:01:44I still think
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.49.66
there's a mismatch between the argument of the article and the stated intention.
2010-09-04 18:17:07Mud
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
81.152.234.172

Sorry Doug, but I strongly disagree. A principle tactic of the denialists is to conflate procedure with science. The IAC report is largely procedural in nature, both in analysis and recommendations - it did not examine the science, but the way the science was handled.

On top of that, the report may actually make the argument weaker by introducing lines of argument that allow further muddying of the waters. I cannot in good faith adopt your suggestion because I feel it could actually compound the problem and weaken the rebuttal.

2010-09-04 18:37:05Repetition
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
81.152.234.172
I've covered this already Neal. Take it up with JC...
2010-09-05 00:44:02
doug_bostrom

dbostrom@clearwire...
184.77.83.151

Okee-dokee Graham! Perhaps I should have bold-faced "perhaps," heh! 

I wonder if Neal's worry could be resolved simply by changing the title of this to "IPCC does not accurately represent a scientific consensus." I see both points; the "consensus" thing is a separate issue while this rebuttal addresses the matter of the IPCC spinning the consensus. 

2010-09-05 18:49:02Grinning...
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
81.152.234.172

OK - perhaps 'strongly' was a bit over the top, but hey - healthy disagreement, right? I'm just trying to keep things tidy, actually.

I think my view is similar to JCs, in that he rebuts the greater issue rather than the particular. The way the Spencer quote puts the argument is oblique - he's smart - but when you see this issue elsewhere, like in Guardian forums, it always alludes to the issues that John covered in the intermediate, and I've repeated in the basic. Neal, I feel you are being rather too literal about how the argument is put prior to rebutting it. Sometimes, the sceptical arguments are not very well presented, or generalised in a fashion that really represents what the argument intends to dispute. I believe what I have written addresses the most general form of the argument, rather more than Spencer's quote does. 

2010-09-06 00:17:12Word choice - human agency / run-on sentence
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
93.231.152.86

Hi Graham,

I have two suggestions:

2nd paragraph
"...being caused by human agency...." --> wouldn't "human activity be more straightforward for a basic rebuttal?

2nd bullet point
"It is now believed that figure may be far too low, especially when taking into account the fact that estimates of sea-level rise caused by melting Greenland and Antarctic ice-caps were considered too inaccurate to include, an omission that hardly supports the notion that the IPCC seek to exaggerate global warming trends."
--> this is a bit of a run-on sentence. Could it be broken down into two sentences? Speaking from a translator's point of view, these types of run-on sentences are often difficult to translate, so they may also be somewhat difficult to understand while reading them.

Cheers
Baerbel

2010-09-06 00:21:59If the title doesn't fit the article
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.109.141
then perhaps the title ought to be changed.
2010-09-06 00:30:28on word choice etc
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
81.152.234.172
Thanks Baerbel - good suggestions, which I've included. That long sentence was spectacularly ugly, wasn't it?
2010-09-10 22:53:19Bump...
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
86.158.204.104
This is languishing...
2010-09-11 07:27:32Basic rebuttal 40: IPCC does not represent a scientific consensus
jimalakirti

jimalakirti@gmail...
71.34.142.115

Excellent. Short, clear, convincing to all of us who have not decided not to believe the data.

 

Someone might call us on the fact that this does not discuss opinions of scientists (consensus of scientific opinion), but instead just proves that IPCC was not only right but conservative. I think the point of the skeptic argument is that a consensus (general agreement) amongst scientists does not exist. So rebuttal of this idea suggests some kind of a poll or vote.

 

(I personally don't believe a consensus of opinion is actually relevant. One doesn't vote on data or facts. One only votes on matter of opinion, and it is obvious that the opinion of most climate scientists is that global warming is happening, that it is largely caused by human activity, that we can do something (though minor) about keeping it from accelerating, and that we had better by god start doing something .  Thats the sense of MY consensus.

 

Bertrand Russell pretty well covered how to evaluate consensus in "Let the People Think":

"When the experts are agreed, the opposite opinion cannot be held to be certain;
 
"When [they] are not agreed, no opinion can be regarded  as certain by a non-expert;   

"When they all hold no sufficient grounds for a positive opinion to exist, the ordinary man would do well to suspend his judgement."  

2010-09-11 10:23:55I believe you have a consensus
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.124.196

when the great bulk of the relevant scientists no longer think it's worth discussing the topic.

And particularly, when the "hotshots" - the ones who actually have a plausible shot at a Nobel Prize - don't want to waste their time on that specific topic anymore.

(None of which has anything to do with whether the predicted values are too cautious or not...)

 

2010-09-11 11:44:55
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.150.110

The title & the content of the rebuttal are a mismatch (as others have pointed out), likewise the intermediate/original version. It's a good rebuttal of "the IPCC is alarmist" claim though.

I like Neal's ideas from 24 Aug, but thought it might first, as an introduction, deal with how the IPCC authors are globally representative, and was done so specifically in order to eliminate claims of bias/lack of input/following agendas, encourage international co-operation etc. Cover how each group of authors must be in agreement before their assessments of the scientific literature are published. In other words the IPCC was put expressly put together in this manner to avoid the very charge that Spencer & others level at the IPCC.

Move on to the suggestions by Neal & finish with a summary of the observations suggesting that contrary to the inference of alarmist bias or toeing the line, the IPCC tends towards being conservative.


2010-09-11 22:20:52Suggested resolution
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.93.62

Sorry I come to this party so late, I'm having trouble keeping up with so many threads and tend to focus on the ones ready for publishing. Otherwise, I could've saved you all much discussion :-(

Firstly, for the record, none of my intermediate rebuttals are sacred cows by any means. I am constantly tweaking them myself and if I had more time, would go and revamp the lot of them. So if you're writing a basic rebuttal from what you perceive is a flawed intermediate rebuttal, then by all means, let me know how the intermediate rebuttal needs improving. This is a good opportunity as all these authors scrutinise my work and come at it from different angles, to spot areas that need fixing or developing.

Now with the IPCC issue, I think the key issue is "results", not "process". In other words, as far as the general public is concerned, they're concerned about whether the IPCC get it right, not whether they've dotted every i and crossed every t in their procedures. That's not to say procedures aren't important and they should be addressed, particularly in the more advanced levels. But for the basic version - if you were just explaining the IPCC to friends over dinner - what you would talk about is their results.

So in this case, perhaps a better title for this skeptic argument is "the IPCC is alarmist". That's essentially what skeptics are saying - that's the main thrust of their arguments. And this skeptic argument is a good opportunity to actually put the IPCC to the test - how do their predictions compare to subsequent observations? It turns out the IPCC are conservative, the very opposite to the skeptic claim.

In fact, this is borne out in a new study that found the IPCC predictions turn out to be conservative 20 times more than alarmist. I'm very frustrated with myself that I actually got the scoop on this paper - the author sent it to me before it was even published and I just haven't had the time to blog about it. It's now been published. Believe me, I'm tearing my hair about that one.

Anyway, this is an important result, I'd like to include it in the intermediate version and it might be worth mentioning in the basic version. Graham, let me know if you'd like it emailed to you.

So long story short, if I change the argument to "The IPCC is alarmist", will that resolve things?

2010-09-11 22:56:18"if I change the argument to 'The IPCC is alarmist', will that resolve things?"
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.46.1

Yes.

2010-09-11 23:26:22Solves the problem
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
86.158.204.104
Indeed, changing the title makes sense, given the general view. And I would like to see the paper you mention, so I can put something in.
2010-09-11 23:47:22Title changed
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.93.62
Also emailed you the paper.
2010-09-12 00:16:56Departing from the script
James Wight

jameswight@southernphone.com...
58.105.164.221
Hmmm. I began drafting this post before John changed the title to “IPCC is alarmist”, which renders a lot of what I was going to say irrelevant. However, it may still be relevant to a potential sub-argument about IPCC process. Currently there is a sub-argument of this one on the to-do list called “IPCC overestimate the danger”. This is now a bit redundant, so I suggest that John delete it and add a new sub-argument called “IPCC does not represent a scientific consensus”. (Though I’m not volunteering to write it at this stage, as I haven’t got around to reading the InterAcademy Council report yet.)

So anyway, here are my thoughts:

One problem with trying to rebut all these attacks on science is we’re always playing defensive. I mean, the denialists make the claim that the IPCC process is political, or their citations aren’t peer-reviewed, or their reports contain monumental errors, or whatever, and we’re forced into the position of having to prove the IPCC is innocent. A similar thing happened on the SBS program with Stephen Schneider the other night: someone asked him about problems with the surface temperature record, and he started going into detail about UHI corrections and so on. If I’d been in his place, I probably would have said that there are all these other lines of evidence supporting global warming other than the land surface record.

We can’t afford to let the denialists determine the terms of the debate. We must depart from their script, otherwise they will have achieved their aim of spreading uncertainty and doubt. Of course, I mean “doubt” in the “doubt is our product” sense. If they can confuse the public then they win the debate by default.

So I suggest you make the point that it’s not all about the IPCC. Mention that all the National Academies of Science, and pretty much any major scientific body remotely related to climate change, have issued statements supporting the scientific consensus on AGW. Mention that several surveys have found the support for AGW among the most qualified experts in climate science is around 97%. Though all surveys are necessarily flawed, multiple surveys with varying methodologies have reached similar conclusions. There is plenty of evidence for the scientific consensus outside of the IPCC.

Not that I have anything against what you’ve written already. But as with many of these arguments, there are two questions to address: “is it true?” and “is it relevant”? I think you’ve already made a good case against the first part (and if necessary you can use Jim Meador’s suggestion to cut it down), but you need to include something that addresses the second part.
2010-09-12 00:36:36
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.46.1

James Wight,

I think your points are relevant to an article directed against the argument that the IPCC does not represent the consensus; but the last move was to change the title to fit the article as written, which is against "The IPCC is alarmist."

wrt playing defense: We're stuck with that, because we have something worth defending. To claim consensus, it is enough to cite the Royal Society, the NAS, etc. But appeal to authority will not (and should not) satisfy everyone. The magic of science is that there is no magic: Ultimately, the scientific community must be able to stand up and explain it's conclusions.

Yes, this is a tactical disadvantage compared to the deniers, who can hit & run. But the reason they can do that is that they have nothing worth defending: They don't have anything like a complete physical picture of what the land/ocean/atmosphere are doing. All they have are websites of talking points, which are not even internally consistent. 

The obligation that falls upon the scientific community for depending on the public purse is that it must be prepared to explain and justify its actions to the public. Fortunately, it is capable of doing that.

2010-09-12 06:24:39A lot to consider
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
86.158.204.104

Thanks everyone for thought-provoking comments. James and Neal - you both make excellent points, but what I take from this discussion overall is that we need to assess what we have, what is evidently missing, what new information we have (the paper JC sent me about skewed media representation is very interesting) and so on. I'm going to see if I can grasp the broader picture, because I don't find SkS has quite nailed the full range of skeptical arguments about the IPCC. I'll report back with some ideas and suggestions and we can see if I've managed to encompass and satisfactorily address all the worthy ideas expressed here.

Bear with me - I may be gone a while...

2010-09-19 16:31:41I'm back...
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
86.158.204.104

...my prediction that I might be gone a while was pretty accurate as it turned out - due to a sudden increase in my work (bit of a relief). Anyway, here's where I am with this topic:

I'm putting in a reference to the report that JC sent me, which evaluates media bias, and shows that in fact things may be much worse than is being reported, and that the IPCC really is being very conservative in its estimates. This obviously addresses this rebuttal, with its changed title, and I think that should wrap this one up.

The other issues raised in this thread I believe can best be addressed in argument no. 108 - Hulme says IPCC consensus was phoney.  This seems to be the best place to address the oft-repeated accusation that the IPCC does not represent the scientific consensus, the principle concern raised here. This needs to describe the sheer volume of support the IPCC has from authoratative bodies and institutions. I've claimed this item and I will deal with the 'consensual' issues there, as well as mentioning the IAC report and its findings.

If everyone is happy with this approach, and this specific rebuttal is considered complete now, it would be good to get this one approved and out the door...

2010-09-19 17:21:40I think it's basically good now
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.40.102
although I will mention that I recall that the reason the IPCC report didn't include the faster melt-down was not that the reports were thought unreliable, but that the paper was submitted AFTER the closing of the acceptance window for papers to be considered for the AR4 report: Just didn't make the time frame. Rules is rules.
2010-09-19 17:24:02forgot to hit the button
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.40.102
try again
2010-09-19 20:37:19Part 2
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
86.158.204.104

OK folks - part 2, covering (I hope) the other points people have raised, is here:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/thread.php?t=186

2010-09-19 20:42:48
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.252.19
Another thumb.
2010-09-20 16:00:09Reference
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
86.158.204.104
Neal - do you have a ref for the exclusion of ice cap data. I've heard both explanations but can't pin down which is the right one - or maybe it's a mixture of both. Worth getting this right though...(anyone else know?)
2010-09-20 17:13:57Can I suggest some chopping and changing?
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.93.62

Graham, I think this rebuttal is great. My only problem is the level of writing - I think your text on Freudenberg is written at intermediate level and the rest is at Basic level. Can I suggest we take your Freudenberg section, transplant it into the intermediate rebuttal then write a simpler version for the Basic version.

I'm thinking if I was explaining the Freudenberg paper to a relative at a family lunch, I'd just say something like "there was this study where they looked at reports of new scientific results that came out after the IPCC report came out. They found that the IPCC actually underestimated the climate response 20 times more than they overestimated the response. So the IPCC has a strong tendency to underestimate the climate response". I'm sure you could say it better and fleshed out a little more but I think as far as a plain English version goes, it needs to be a bit simpler.

Re the intermediate version, I can either do the transplant or I can switch authorship so you can get in there and shape it to be consistent with your version. Your call.

2010-09-20 17:57:49
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
192.84.150.209
I agree with John. It is good as intermediate rebuttal more than basic. Rephrase Freudenberg, make the three points on the underestimates shorter and you're done with both. IMHO.
2010-09-21 01:50:07Agreed
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
86.158.204.104
Sure - I take your point John (and agree  with Riccardo), so switch ownership of the inter and I'll sort them both out.
2010-09-21 03:27:39Wording
BaerbelW

baerbel-for-350@email...
93.231.155.181

Hi Graham,

reading through the latest version (which I guess is the first post in this thread) I got hung up by this indented paragraph (and quote):

"...new scientific findings were more than twenty times as likely to support the ASC perspective [that disruption through AGW may be far more modest than the IPCC has suggested] than the usual framing of the issue in the U.S. mass media. The findings indicate that...if reporters wish to discuss ‘‘both sides’’ of the climate issue, the scientifically legitimate ‘‘other side’’ is that, if anything, global climate disruption may prove to be significantly worse than has been suggested in scientific consensus estimates to date".

I may be reading this wrong, but is the wording in the square brackets correct? Wouldn't the disruption through AGW be "far worse" and not "far more modest" than the IPCC has suggested?

This may be a moot point by now, I just thought to bring it up regardless (as this might just come back to haunt me once I tackle the translation!).

Cheers
Baerbel

 

2010-09-21 07:57:42Ownership switched
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.93.62
All yours, Graham. Take good care of my graphs :-)
2010-09-22 20:10:32
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
86.158.204.104

BaerbelW - quite right, now fixed. Glad you picked that up.

John - so no replacement with Simpsons stills then? Boo...

2010-09-25 15:56:10All Done
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
86.147.249.212
Hi folks - I've put the ASC stuff in the intermediate (with no real damage to the graphs, just a slight dent in the passenger door and a broken brake light). I've also made this version of the ASC stuff simpler and moved it to a better position in the post.
2010-10-01 10:46:56Published
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.186.160.198
Great work, Graham, organising all this info into two well structured rebuttals. You've been up to your eyeballs in IPCC over the last few weeks. Appreciate all your efforts :-)