2010-10-01 04:41:39Royal Society new statement
MarkR
Mark Richardson
m.t.richardson2@gmail...
89.242.47.149

I have a date with a pint soon, but I'd like to write up about this tomorrow if people want to leave it until then?

 

It's been spun as a nail in the AGW coffin again by the usual suspects who've either been too lazy to read it or too stupid to understand anything it says (h/t, Daily Mail). It's a ringing endorsement of the IPCC, and it has been written with some of the authors who are listed as the '43 skeptics' in the RS and they seem to have said some good stuff about it.

2010-10-01 06:50:27As far as I can tell,
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.120.181

The Royal Society states where the science is certain, and states where it is uncertain – just as it did before.

And just as the IPCC has done before.

There’s no climb-down.

2010-10-01 08:42:56maybe
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
38.223.231.249
It might be worth a blog post.  Not much to it - the statement basically reiterates confidence that humans are causing significant warming and expresses uncertainty as to how much the planet will warm in the future.  I might tackle it this weekend if nobody else gets to it first.
2010-10-01 08:51:55
MarkR
Mark Richardson
m.t.richardson2@gmail...
92.24.250.82
Also, hello dana, you might remember me from Y!A as MTRstudent :)
2010-10-01 09:08:47
doug_bostrom

dbostrom@clearwire...
184.77.83.151

Then there's the Joe Romm interpretation:

"UK’s Royal Society wastes everyone’s time with bland, pointless, and confused ’summary’ of climate science"

Dr. Romm is always turned up to "11!"  

 

2010-10-01 09:27:08If Mark or Dana do a blog post about this...
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.186.160.198

There's already a skeptic argument (no rebuttal yet), "Royal Society scientists are skeptics". I may update this into something like "Royal Society embraces skepticism", the narrative plugged by WUWT:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/29/royal-society-blinks-embraces-sceptics-and-uncertainty/

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/30/the-royal-societys-toned-down-climate-stance/

http://thegwpf.org/news/1618-gwpf-welcomes-royal-societys-toned-down-climate-stance.html

...the new guide accepts that important questions remain open and uncertainties unresolved. “The Royal Society now also agrees with the GWPF that the warming trend of the 1980s and 90s has come to a halt in the last 10 years,” said Dr Benny Peiser, the Director of the GWPF.

2010-10-01 10:31:38
MarkR
Mark Richardson
m.t.richardson2@gmail...
92.24.250.82

My suggested draft (needs loads of reference links adding in):

 

 

The Royal Society and uncertainty

Following complaints, the Royal Society has published a guide to climate science which has been co-authored by 2 self selected “skeptics”.

The traditional skeptical sources have enjoyed the release, including the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Wattsupwiththat and The Daily Mail; with the DM quoting the GWPF Director;

The Royal Society now also agrees with the GWPF that the warming trend of the 1980s and 90s has come to a halt in the last 10 years.”

And shouting that the Royal Society “admits that there are ‘uncertainties’”.

There are uncertainties in all science so the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) includes a level of certainty with all its statements. The report is well worth reading if you have time but if you want detail then read the IPCC report since the two agree on everything they both cover.

Simple statements are split into 3 sections: widespread scientific agreement, widespread consensus but active discussion, and ‘not well understood’.

Widespread agreement (‘very likely’ or 90%+ certain in the IPCC report)

·         0.8+-0.2 C warming since 1850

·         Rise in CO2 caused by humans

·         IPCC heating or ‘radiative forcing’ values

·         Doubling CO2 causes 1 C of direct warming, feedbacks are expected to add more

 

Wide consensus but continuing debate and discussion (‘likely’ or 66-90% certain in the IPCC report)

·         Solar heating less than 10% of CO2’s, but research is checking to see if it’s magnified.

·         Doubling CO2 will cause 2-4.5 C global warming (the IPCC states “likely to be in the range 2 to 4.5°C with a best estimate of about 3°C“)

·         Sea levels will rise at least at the rate they have been

Not well understood

·         models struggle with clouds, regional changes, and long term carbon cycle feedback

·         models don’t catch ice sheet breakup, so the sea level rise they give is a minimum

Tying things up

Overall impressions are of a balanced summary of some important science, but new observations and palaeoclimate evidence that give estimates for future sea level rise and global warming are ignored. This new data tends to suggest that doubling CO2 will cause 2-4.5oC warming and that sea level rise will be 100%+ more than IPCC estimates.

 

And what about the GWPF’s claim that the Society now agrees with them and global warming has halted? Another case of confusing short term trends, and seemingly based on;

“This warming has... been largely concentrated... from around 1975 to around 2000,”

but ignoring;

“The decade 2000-2009 was, globally, around 0.15oC warmer than the decade 1990-1999.”

 Make of that what you will.

 

2010-10-01 13:24:19MTR
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
71.137.148.215

Hi MTR, haven't seen you in a while!  Nice job, I got a few comments:

  1. Make sure to define your acronyms, i.e. "the Daily Mail (DM)."
  2. "Self selected skeptics" - do you mean self-proclaimed skeptics perhaps?
  3. The paragraph on uncertainties and the IPCC is a bit confusing.  It seems to suggest either reading the IPCC report or the IPCC report.  Did you mean to suggest that people read the Royal Society report or the IPCC report?
  4. Degree symbol - °
2010-10-01 15:50:43Formatting suggestions
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.186.160.198

Just some formatting suggestions to improve readability and add some visual structure - blockquote the quotes, bullet point the lists and merge some of the single lines into paragraphs. How's this? (still needs the hyperlinks)


The Royal Society and uncertainty

Following complaints, the Royal Society has published a guide to climate science which has been co-authored by 2 self selected “skeptics”. The traditional skeptical sources have enjoyed the release, including the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), Wattsupwiththat and The Daily Mail quoting the GWPF Director;

“The Royal Society now also agrees with the GWPF that the warming trend of the 1980s and 90s has come to a halt in the last 10 years.”

And shouting that the Royal Society “admits that there are ‘uncertainties’”. There are uncertainties in all science so the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) includes a level of certainty with all its statements. The report is well worth reading if you have time but if you want detail then read the IPCC report since the two agree on everything they both cover. Simple statements are split into 3 sections: widespread scientific agreement, widespread consensus but active discussion, and ‘not well understood’.

Widespread agreement (‘very likely’ or 90%+ certain in the IPCC report)

  • 0.8+-0.2 C warming since 1850
  • Rise in CO2 caused by humans
  • IPCC heating or ‘radiative forcing’ values
  • Doubling CO2 causes 1 C of direct warming, feedbacks are expected to add more

Wide consensus but continuing debate and discussion (‘likely’ or 66-90% certain in the IPCC report)

  • Solar heating less than 10% of CO2’s, but research is checking to see if it’s magnified.
  • Doubling CO2 will cause 2-4.5 C global warming (the IPCC states “likely to be in the range 2 to 4.5°C with a best estimate of about 3°C“)
  • Sea levels will rise at least at the rate they have been    

Not well understood

  • Models struggle with clouds, regional changes, and long term carbon cycle feedback
  • Models don’t catch ice sheet breakup, so the sea level rise they give is a minimum

Tying things up

Overall impressions are of a balanced summary of some important science, but new observations and palaeoclimate evidence that give estimates for future sea level rise and global warming are ignored. This new data tends to suggest that doubling CO2 will cause 2-4.5oC warming and that sea level rise will be 100%+ more than IPCC estimates.

And what about the GWPF’s claim that the Society now agrees with them and global warming has halted? Another case of confusing short term trends, and seemingly based on;

“This warming has... been largely concentrated... from around 1975 to around 2000,”

but ignoring;

“The decade 2000-2009 was, globally, around 0.15oC warmer than the decade 1990-1999.”

Make of that what you will.

2010-10-01 16:02:22
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.229.238
What a waste of time and money. Joe Romm called it right.
2010-10-01 16:29:48
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.55.72

"co-authored by 2 self selected “skeptics”"

This sounds as though it was written by two skeptics, whereas it was written by a team that included, among many others, two skeptics.

2010-10-01 18:04:36Joe Romm is right about sea level rise
James Wight

jameswight@southernphone.com...
58.105.164.221

It’s pretty weasel-y of the Royal Society to say the rate of sea level rise will be at least 20 cm per century. This is a very lowest-common-denominator sort of statement. My impression from what I’ve read of the research published since the AR4 is that sea level rise by 2100 will probably be somewhere in the range 75-180 cm (depending on the emissions scenario).

2010-10-01 18:24:21
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
192.84.150.209

I'm a bit on Joe Romm's side, although not as extreme.

The old version of the guide (it's not a statement)  was based on the rebuttals of "misleading arguments", as they called them. It was didactic in nature and the goals was to clear the debate outside the scientific circles.

In the new version there's nothing new, 5 years of research passed in vain (for them). Worse, the didactic intent disappeared. It looks much like a synthesis report of the AR4 synthesis report. And yes, it has been toned down in the conclusions. I'm afraid they surrendered to a handfull of skeptics inside the Society as if they required unanimity. I see a problem more on this (the process) than on the substance.

2010-10-01 19:32:08
MarkR
Mark Richardson
m.t.richardson2@gmail...
92.15.34.133

Thanks for the pointers guys, I'm going to take John's formatting, remove the brackets after the bullet titles, fix the acronyms and re-phrase the co-authored bit to:

"the Royal Society has published a guide to climate science which counts 2 self-selected “skeptics” among its co-authors" (I used 'self selected' as they put themselves forward with the original letter of complaint).

 

 

 

It's a real pity they didn't include much new evidence (we've come a long way since AR4!), but it's a public communications exercise. Maybe they should have included "results of recent research", but now that "skeptics" have gone wild over it and thrown support behind it, you'd expect that they now realise they agree with the IPCC on the most important points and we can move on from there.

Of course, they will never ever admit that and will simply move on to the next lie. But if this helps educate a few policymakers then it's worthwhile.

2010-10-02 00:07:47Published
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.186.160.198
Thanks for writing this one, Mark. Have published the blog post and created a new skeptic argument with your post as rebuttal. That's 124 rebutted skeptic arguments now listed at http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php - not too shabby!