Archive for February 2010
These famous lyrics from the Bob Dylan song, Subterranean Homesick Blues, come to mind when I consider why so many meteorologists and weather forecasters are skeptical or in outright denial of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming (AGW). Very outspoken skeptics that are meteorologists include, among others: Richard Lindzen, William Gray, Joseph D’Aleo (IceCap), and Joe Bastardi (AccuWeather). Non-degree holders (weather forecasters) that are also very outspoken skeptics include, among others, Anthony Watts (Watts Up With That) and John Coleman of KUSI News, San Diego. Of these people, only Dr. Lindzen has published papers related to climate change in peer-reviewed journals.
A poll performed by Doran and Zimmerman (2009) at Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago of 3,146 Earth scientists showed 96.2% of climatologists who are active in climate research believe that mean global temperatures have risen compared to pre-1800s levels, and 97.4% believe that human activity is a significant factor in changing mean global temperatures. Among all respondents, 90% agreed that temperatures have risen compared to pre-1800 levels, and 80% agreed that humans significantly influence the global temperature. Petroleum geologists were among the biggest doubters, with only 47 percent believing in human involvement but meteorologists were also not convinced. Only 64% (23 of 36) of the meteorologists believe AGW is occurring.
As shown in the October 2009 Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (Wilson, 2009) the skepticism is shown to be far greater for television weather forecasters.
The image above shows a cherry tree with 96 red cherries and 4 blue cherries. If somebody asked me or another scientist what type of tree this is I would state:
“It is very likely to be a red cherry tree and I am investigating why there are a few blue cherries that do not appear to fit in.”
Similar statements have been made by scientific experts regarding climate change:
“Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.” (IPCC, 2007)
“Continued greenhouse gas emissions at or above current rates would cause further warming and induce many changes in the global climate system during the 21st century that would very likely be larger than those observed during the 20th century.” (IPCC, 2007)
The term very likely used by the IPCC means a probability greater than 90%.
A poll performed by Peter Doran and Maggie Kendall Zimmerman at Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago of 3,146 Earth scientists showed 96.2% of climatologists who are active in climate research believe that mean global temperatures have risen compared to pre-1800s levels, and 97.4% believe that human activity is a significant factor in changing mean global temperatures.
For more information about the scientific consensus regarding climate change please see The Scientific Consensus.
So if this red cherry tree is so obvious why do we still have some people trying to tell us that it is a blue cherry tree? This technique is called cherry picking data to support a false claim.
Michael and Anthony are very good friends and enjoy their Friday night no-limit Texas Hold’em poker game each week. Michael plays with a tight, aggressive style meaning he plays only the best hands and understands the math behind the game. On the other hand, Anthony tends to be fairly loose in the hands he plays and the bets he calls; meaning that he plays weak starting hands and makes mathematically incorrect plays.
While Michael wins on most nights, Anthony typically loses most nights but he does have that occasional good night when he plays incorrectly but gets lucky. That’s what keeps Anthony coming back for more even though he is a big loser for the year.
The cards are dealt.
RA-10 Inquiry Report: Concerning the Allegations of Research Misconduct Against Dr. Michael E. Mann, Department of Meteorology, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University (February 3, 2010)
As stated in the published report linked above:
Beginning on and about November 22, 2009, The Pennsylvania State University began to receive numerous communications (emails, phone calls and letters) accusing Dr. Michael E. Mann of having engaged in acts that included manipulating data, destroying records and colluding to hamper the progress of scientific discourse around the issue of anthropogenic global warming from approximately 1998. These accusations were based on perceptions of the content of the widely reported theft of emails from a server at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in Great Britain. … no formal allegations accusing Dr. Mann of research misconduct were submitted to any University official.
A formal inquiry was undertaken by the University to address the four major allegations. The findings are listed after each allegation and these findings clearly exonerate Dr. Mann of any wrongdoing.
My LIPA balanced billing invoices from February 2008 and February 2010 appear below:
I am currently saving $39 per month (21%) on my Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) bill because of a few simple “green” actions on my part two years ago: