2011-04-21 14:14:53PopTech Papers: 21-40, How they fit.
Alex C


Here's what I got, feedback appreciated and encouraged:



- "A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts" (Tsonis et al 2007) [Skeptic]; "A Pervasive Millennial-Scale Cycle in North Atlantic Holocene and Glacial Climates" (Bond et al 1997) [Neutral]

PRO-AGW (0):


- "A mechanism for sun-climate connection" (Hameed and Lee, 2005); "A multidecadal study of the number of Antarctic icebergs using scatterometer data" (Ballantyne and Long 2002); "A new pathway for communicating the 11-year solar cycle signal to the QBO" (Cordero and Nathan 2005); "A relationship between galactic cosmic radiation and tree rings" (Dengel et al 2009)


- "A doubling of the Sun's coronal magnetic field during the past 100 years" (Lockwood et al 1999); "A mathematical analysis of the divergence problem in dendroclimatology" (Loehle 2009); "A provisional long mean air temperature series for Armagh observatory" (Butler and Johnston 1996); "A solar pattern in the longest temperature series from three stations in Europe" (Le Mouel et al 2010); "A Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Damaging Snowstorms in the United States" (Changnon and Changnon 2006); "A statistical study of the relationship between the solar cycle length and tree-ring index values" (Zhou and Butler 1998); "A statistically significant signature of multi-decadal solar activity changes in atmospheric temperatures at three European stations" (Kossobokov et al 2010)


- "A natural constraint to anthropogenic global warming" (Kininmonth 2010); "A null hypothesis for CO2" (Clark 2010); "A Surfeit of Cycles" (Schaffer 2009)


- "A scientific agenda for climate policy?" (Boehmer-Christiansen 1994); "A Suggestion to Climate Scientists and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change" (Akasofu 2008)


- "A perspective on global environmental crises" (Smil 1987); "A sceptical view of climate change and water resources planning" (Kite 2001)


Thanks ahead of time for anyone willing to double-check my work, especially the ones in the last two sections as they need to either be categorized or left out.


I'd also like to invite others to help too.  I'm planning on doing papers in groups of 20, from the Excel sheet John provided in the "Updated SkS database - you can now tag PopTech papers" thread, ordered alphabetically, ascending (so 2-21, 22-41, 42-62, so on) - I can get done a group a day with my schedule if I time my tasks correctly, but that would get us about 500 or less (<) done before the deadline that we set up of May 15 to get this whole thing released.  Extra help would be greatly appreciated - I know at least one other has offered time when available.

If you would like to help, I think that doing groups of twenty at a time would be easiest, and so we don't duplicate each other's work, starting a thread for your group of 20 to claim dibs.  Or, we can have a dib thread.  Maybe I'll start that.

2011-05-07 16:34:46
Ari Jokimäki


Sorry for the late response. I have been devoting my SkS time to adding peer-reviewed papers to the database.

Smil (1987) - Journal claims to be refereed, and the publisher is well respected. We can't leave this one out unless we know it for sure.

Kite (2001) - Journal claims to be peer-reviewed, and the publisher is well respected. We can't leave this one out unless we know it for sure.

Boehmer-Christiansen (1994) - Nature is difficult in this sense. It seems to publish all kinds of commentaries and news articles and it's difficult to tell which ones are actually peer-reviewed. We can't leave this one out unless we know it for sure.

Akasofu (2008) - Published in peer-reviewed journal. We can't leave this one out unless we know it for sure. It's also puzzling why this should be in list of "skeptic" papers, nothing here is against AGW. It just discusses how media and public misinterpret climate science. This seems to be neutral paper (at least based on abstract).

Lockwood et al. (1999) - Quote from the abstract: "We do not yet know quantitatively how such changes will influence the global environment." Seems to be neutral paper based on this quote. Paper just seems to suggest that sun might have had some influence on climate but that is also what theory of AGW says. If the paper would suggest that most of the recent warming is from the sun, then I would put it to skeptic bin.

Loehle (2009) - I agree that this should be in skeptic bin. However, I don't think this is a skeptic paper for the argument 'Tree-rings diverge from temperature after 1960' or "Medieval Warm Period was warmer". Instead I would put the argument 'Temperature proxies are unreliable' as the first argument for this paper because the paper seems to argue for just that.

Butler and Johnston (1996) - Hard to say on this one. It's only one location so basically couldn't be generalized as global. I would put this to neutral.

Le Mouël et al. (2010) - Also a local paper and if I read the abstract correctly, they even suggest that their results can't be generalized to global. My vote is neutral.

Changnon and Changnon (2006) - Regional analysis. Neutral.

Zhou and Butler (1998) - This actually seems to be Zhou et al. as there is a mysterious third writer called "Rp". This is difficult to classify. This is a kind of global analysis and suggests that tree rings and solar cycle length correlate strongly. However, it's uncertain how much of the correlation actually has to do with climate rather than trees as plants reacting to the amount of sunlight they get. Paper's abstract also doesn't say anything about recent warming. Therefore I would put this to neutral bin.

Kossobokov et al. (2010) - Local study, so neutral. However, all that they say in the abstract seems to be very well in line with what mainstream climate science says - that the past temperatures were solar controlled and even now the sun has some role. I don't see why this should be in skeptic bin.

2011-05-09 07:39:36
Alex C


Hm, some of the ScienceDirect links aren't working now.

Either way, I agree with most of your assessments, esp. Lockwood 1999, Butler 1996, Akasofu 2008, and Zhou 1998.  I also agree with the Kossobokov and Le Mouël papers - FWIW, my thinking had come in part from Tamino's post on it, and seeing that apparently those papers had only considered the Sun as a cause, then I had thought it was a (cough) attempt to promote a skeptic talking point.

Also: re. Smil and Kite, I'll add them in, but related to your statements about Nature, a journal doesn't necessarily put everything it publishes through the same type of peer review.  Kite for example, "Despite the abundance of funding," "'greenhouse gases,'" "summarises some information that may give cause for thought," "imaginary climate change" - especially the last, "imaginary?"  Really?  This is not a research paper and seems closer to a school essay, but I digress.

Boehmer-Christiansen: not a peer review paper still in my opinion as per this which I found ("Commentary" at the top) - my position is not to add it, and I myself will not do so.

I'll make the suggested change to Loehle.

Changnon: I was about to respond that I would recommend not changing it unless a certain paper in this rebuttal of ours, which was used to make a point about snowstorms (using US data), was not used as such.  I couldn't remember what the paper was - it was this one!  Is it already in the database somewhere?  I agree with neutral, however I think this brings up another issue in that Changnon 2006 suggests that there was no change in climate during the time period regarding snow storms, yet we're using its ungeneralized data to suggest that snow storms can increase somewhere in the country and decrease elsewhere.  Is such usage of the paper's data, without its apparent agreement with such conclusions, justified?

Have I covered everything?  I'll make the changes you suggested, aside from adding the Boehmer-Christiansen paper.

2011-05-09 07:55:21
Alex C


One more thing: I think that "Eos, Transactions AGU" is a newspaper.  Can anyone double check that for me if they have time?  I am inclined to think that a newspaper, even if published by the AGU, wouldn't be peer reviewed as regular scientific literature.

Akasofu 2008 was published in Eos - as I type, I'm adding it into neutral, FYI.

2011-05-09 07:58:05
Alex C


Actually, I'm not sure what argument the Akasofu paper ought to go under.  I'm placing it under "IPCC is alarmist" for now - any better suggestions?

2011-05-09 09:08:25Eos say they're peer review
John Cook


I have no idea if Zeos is a genuine peer review journal but Eos say:

The high peer-review and editorial standards for which Eos is known also apply to the material in the supplement.

In lieu of any other evidence, we have to assume peer review.