Category Archives: Climate science

An email exchange with Mojib Latif

The following is an email exchange with¬† Dr. Mojib Latif, Professor for Climate Physics at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University, concerning his recent work in decadal prediction. My original email was written to draw attention to misrepresentations of Latif’s work and recent comments, as discussed in the immediately following post.

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Key excerpts from Mojib Latif’s WCC presentation

The following is an edited transcript of key excerpts from Dr. Mojib Latif’s presentation at the World Climate Conference 3, held in Geneva in September 2009. Also see my subsequent post on misinterpretations and distortions of these remarks.

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Is ENSO “responsible for recent global warming?” No.

A raging controversy, one almost as hot as the record-breaking heat wave on the North American west coast, has broken out over a recent paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research (Atmospheres), a peer-reviewed periodical published by the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

Authors John McLean, Chris de Freitas and Bob Carter all have a long history of links to climate disinformation groups and associated PR campaigns (many of which lead back to Canadian spinmeister Tom Harris, director of the International Climate Science Coalition).

Now the trio have claimed that their analysis demonstrates that global warming is primarily a result of natural processes with little role for anthropogenic influences such as greenhouse gases.

A barrage of criticism has forced the authors and their champions to backpedal furiously. Along the way, a PDF of the paper has been removed from the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition (NZCSC) website, presumably to rectify an egregious copyright breach. Even worse, the NZCSC parent affiliate, the above-mentioned International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC), was caught substituting its preferred title for the actual one in its link to the paper.

And, of course, a look at the actual data clearly shows that the trio’s touted source of global warming, namely a 1976 “shift” in the El Nino Southern Oscillation (or ENSO), can not possibly account for the recent upward trend in temperatures. All this raises serious questions about JGR’s editorial processes, and leads to the inevitable conclusion that the paper should be withdrawn.

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More heavy lifting with “suppressed” Alan Carlin

The kerfuffle over the EPA’s so-called “suppression” of Alan Carlin continues apace, with two new commentaries from right-wing columnists. Both syndicated columnist Mark Steyn and the Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel cite Carlin in support of the tired contrarian assertion that “global temperatures are on a downward trend”. (Of course, at the risk of repeating myself, this has been debunked thoroughly here, there and everywhere, as John Lennon might have put it)

But, once again, it turns out that Carlin did not write certain relevant key passages himself, and also failed to attribute them to the original author.

[Update, July 8: In another astonishing twist, I have just discovered that Marlo Lewis, the National Review columnist whose piece Carlin lifted as discussed below, is – wait for it – a Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which just happens to be the right-wing think tank that has been touting the so-called “suppression” of Alan Carlin’s report. I’ll have more on this soon.]

[Update, July 7: I’ve added a comparison of the “updated” chart of global temperature projections and observations given by Carlin, and the original found in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). As well, an ironic twist to Steyn’s quote from Carlin is noted.]

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EPA’s Alan Carlin channels Patrick Michaels and the Friends of Science

A new uproar in the blogosphere has broken out over the supposed “suppression” by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) of an internal review of the EPA’s proposed endangerment finding on greenhouse gases. The review purported to show that the latest “research” calls into question the scientific consensus on climate change. It turns out that the report, written by Alan Carlin, with assistance from John Davidson, of the EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics, is drawn heavily from the contrarian blogosphere, especially Ken Gregory of the Calgary-based “astroturf” group Friends of Science.

And in one case, a lengthy “analysis” of a recent peer-reviewed paper has been lifted, without attribution, straight out of World Climate Report, the climate “news” blog run by uber-contrarian Patrick Michaels.

[Update, June 29: In the immediately subsequent post, I’ve now established that the Carlin report’s central premise, along with four key sections, came directly from a November, 2008 World Climate Report blog¬† attack on the EPA proposed endangerment finding on greenhouse gas emissions.]

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UAH annual cycle continues in 2009

Roy Spencer has just released the UAH satellite analysis team’s estimate of the lower troposphere global temperature anomaly for the month of May. It stands at 0.04 deg C; the anomaly has dropped each month since February when it stood at 0.36 deg C.

But as seen in the graph below, this is a continuation of the clear annual pattern seen over the last few years.

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IPCC AR4 projections and observations, part 1

AR4 SmoothIn the past year or so, the blogosphere has been full of claims concerning short-term global temperature trends and their supposed falsification of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming as set forth in the IPCC Fourth Assesment Report (AR4). In this post, I’ll present a comparison of the AR4 near-term projection to smoothed observed trends. This comparison shows the recent observed trend to be somewhat below the projection, but still well within a reasonable confidence interval.

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