To: Stefan Rahmstorf <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Gavin Schmidt <email@example.com>, Caspar Ammann <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Ben Santer <email@example.com>, "Raymond S. Bradley" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Malcolm Hughes <email@example.com>, Phil Jones <firstname.lastname@example.org>, James Hansen <email@example.com>
Subject: [Fwd: IPCC and sea level rise, hi-res paleodata, etc.]
Date: Mon, 05 Feb 2007 20:13:54 -0500
Curt, I can't believe the nonsense you are spouting, and I furthermore cannot imagine why
you would be so presumptuous as to entrain me into an exchange with these charlatans. What
ib earth are you thinking? You're not even remotely correct in your reading of the report,
first of all. The AR4 came to stronger conclusions that IPCC(2001) on the paleoclimate
conclusions, finding that the recent warmth is likely anomalous in the last 1300 years, not
just the last 1000 years. The AR4 SPM very much backed up the key findings of the TAR The
Jones et al reconstruction which you refer to actually looks very much like ours, and the
statement about more variability referred to the 3 reconstructions (Jones et al, Mann et
al, Briffa et a) shown in the TAR, not just Mann et al. The statement also does not commit
to whether or not those that show more variability are correct or not. Some of those that
do (for example, Moberg et al and Esper et al) show no similarity to each other. I find it
terribly irresponsible for you to be sending messages like this to Singer and Monckton. You
are speaking from ignorance here, and you must further know how your statements are going
to be used. You could have sought some feedback from others who would have told you that
you are speaking out of your depth on this. By instead simply blurting all of this nonsense
out in an email to these sorts charlatans you've done some irreversible damage. shame on
you for such irresponsible behavior! Mike Mann -- Michael E. Mann Associate Professor
Director, Earth System Science Center (ESSC) Department of Meteorology Phone: (814)
863-4075 503 Walker Building FAX: (814) 865-3663 The Pennsylvania State University email:
firstname.lastname@example.org University Park, PA 16802-5013 http://www.met.psu.edu/dept/faculty/mann.htm
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Date: Mon, 5 Feb 2007 16:53:07 -0800 (PST) From: Curt Covey Subject: IPCC and sea level
rise, hi-res paleodata, etc. To: Christopher Monckton , Fred Singer Cc: Jim Hansen ,
email@example.com, Clifford Lee In-Reply-To: <20061229145211.611FC1CE304@ws1-6.us4.outblaze.com>
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X-Virus-Scanned: amavisd-sophos X-PSU-Spam-Flag: NO X-PSU-Spam-Hits: 0 Christopher and
Now that the latest IPCC WG1 SPM is published, I can venture more opinions on the
It is indeed striking that IPCC's estimate of maximum plausible 21st century sea-level rise
has decreased over time. The latest estimate is 0.5 meters for the A2 emissions scenario
(not much higher from the 0.4 meter estimate for the A1B emissions scenario, which the Wall
Street Journal editorial page has made much of). On the other hand, the IPCC seems to have
taken a pass on Hansen's argument. The IPCC says their estimates are "excluding future
rapid dynamical changes in ice flow . . . because a basis in published literature is
In this one respect (sea level rise) I agree with today's Journal editorial that the
science is not yet settled. Unfortunately, the editorial runs completely off the tracks
thereafter by (1) comparing 2006 vs. 2001 surface temperatures, among all the 150 or so
years on record, and (2) asserting a "significant cooling the oceans have undergone since
2003" based apparently on one published data-set that contradicts all the others. It is
not appropriate to cherry-pick data points this way. It's like trying to figure out
long-term trends in the stock market by comparing today's value of the Dow with last
Re high-resolution paleodata, I never liked it that the 2001 IPCC report pictured Mann's
without showing alternates. Phil's Jones' data was also available at the time. Focusing
so exclusively on Mann was unfair in particular to Mann himself, who thereby became the
sole target of criticism in the Wall Street Journal etc.
It now seems clear from looking at all the different analyses (e.g. as summarized in last
year's NRC review by North et al.) that Mann is an outlier though not egregiously so. Of
course, like any good scientist Mann argues that his methods get you closer to the truth
than anyone else. But the bottom line for me is simply that all the different studies find
that the rate of warming over the last 50-100 years is unusually high compared with
Summarizing all this, the latest IPCC does back off a bit from the previous one. It says
on Page 8, "Some recent studies indicate greater variability [than Mann] in
[pre-industrial] Northern Hemisphere temperatures than suggested in the TAR . . ." The
wording is perhaps insufficiently apologetic, but I find it hard to object strenuously to
it in light of the main point noted in the last paragraph.
If you want to discuss any of this further, let me know. I attach my latest presentation
-- and would appreciate seeing both Christopher's report mentioned in the Journal editorial
and Fred's comment on Rahmstorf's article published in Science last week.
Christopher Monckton <email@example.com> wrote:
Dear Mr. Covey - Many thanks for coming back to me so quickly. You mention Hansen's recent
papers. I have recently been looking at an (attached) earlier projection of his - the
projection of temperature increase which he made to the US Congress in 1988, effectively
starting the "global-warming" scare. Updating his graph shows that annual global mean land
and sea surface air temperature is not rising anything like as fast as his
attention-grabbing but now manifestly-misconceived Scenario A suggested. Indeed, it is
beginning to look as though temperature is beginning to fall below his estimate based on
CO2 having been stabilized in 1988. Morner, the world's leading authority on sea level, has
been very clear in saying there is very little evidence to justify the IPCC's sea-level
projections. The IPCC itself forecast up to 0.94m sea level rise in a century in its 1996
report; up to 0.88m in its 2001 report; and now 0.43m in its 2007 report. If one loosely
defines whatever t he IPCC says as the "consensus", then not only does the "consensus" not
agree with itself: it is galloping in the direction of the formerly-derided sceptics.
As to future world population, I did some research on this several years ago, because the
UN was making alarmist noises and this alerted me to the likelihood that we were being fed
political propaganda masquerading as science. I learned that the prime determinant of dP in
any population is the general level of prosperity in that population. As prosperity
increases, dP tends to zero. The prosperity factor is many times more potent as an
influence on dP than even enforced, artificial contraception or child-killing. Since I
expect world prosperity to increase in the coming century, I regard it as near-certain that
dP will tend to zero in the next half-century. The reason for the plummet thereafter is the
widespread availability and use of artificial methods of birth-control. The combined
effects of rising general prosperity and the general availability of artificial
birth-control on depressing indigenous population are already discernible in all those
Western European populations not having to cope with mass immigration from poorer
countries. In Russia, the indigenous population is falling so fast that Muslims will soon
form more than half the population.
As to the "hockey-stick" problem, the NAS report does state very clearly that, though the
conclusion of Mann et al. is "plausible", evidence going back more than 400 years before
the present is increasingly unreliable, and that very few reliable conclusions can be drawn
if one goes back more than 900 years. This illustrates one of the problems bedevilling the
climate-change question: too much of the data and processes on the basis of which we are
trying to draw conclusions are unreliable, incomplete or very poorly understood. This
should not deter scientists from trying to make increasingly intelligent guesses: but
anyone with diplomatic knowledge of the fast-emerging, fast-growing fast-polluters such as
China, India, Indonesia and Brazil will tell you that the ruling regimes in these countries
will not try to prevent their people from enjoying the fossil-fuelled economic growth we
have already enjoyed unless and until the science is honest, the uncertainties are admitted
and the case is strengthened by the accumulation of measurements and the improvement of
analytical techniques in the coming years.
Finally, you are right to take me to task for using words such as "rubbish" and "useless".
I apologize. That said, a validation skill not significantly different from zero indicates
that no valid scientific conclusion may be drawn from the "hockey-stick" graph.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Curt Covey"
To: "Christopher Monckton"
Subject: Sea level rise, hi-res paleodata, etc.
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2006 15:05:51 -0800 (PST)
Dear Dr. Monckton,
Thanks for copying me on your correspondence with Fred and prompting me to look again at
IPCC sea level rise estimates for 2100. I agree you are comparing like-for-like. The
2001 report has an upper limit of 0.7 meters for the A1B scenario. If the 2007 report
lowers this to 0.43 meters (or if the number gets raised again before the report is made
final) it will certainly be appropriate to ask why. After reading Hansen's recent
papers, I don't see how to justify such small upper limits.
It also seems obvious to me (and apparently to you but not to Fred) that the A2 scenario
would entail more sea level rise than A1B. Regarding the relative likelihoods of
scenarios, I don't agree with you that it's "almost certain" that world population will
"plummet" in the second half of this century.
Regarding the issue of recent vs. earlier global warming, when I look at the totality of
data compiled by North et al. this year for their NAS / NRC report (see attached
graphic), it seems clear that most of the warming since about 1850 (or 1900) occurred in
recent decades. Going farther back in time, the data are of course more uncertain and
estimates vary, but it appears that the warming rate for the 20th century was unusually
high compared with the past 2000 years. This conclusion follows whether or not one
includes Mike Mann's data.
For the record, I must add that I do not share your characterization of Mann's work as
"rubbish" or "useless." Nor do I see a situation of "flagrant dishonesty in which the
UN and the scientific journals persist long after the falsity of their absurd and
extreme claims has been properly demonstrated."
Christopher Monckton <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Dear Fred, - Many thanks for sending me this exchange. Some comments:
Temperature: This question, like so many others to do with supposed "climate change", is
bedevilled by the recency of reliable, instrument-based observations. Nevertheless, some
conclusions can be attempted. The Dalton Minimum is generally considered to have come to an
end in 1910. The five-year mean global land and sea surface air temperature anomaly for
1908-1912, calculated from NCDC annual figures, was --0.3579K. By 1940 there had been a
rapid increase of 0.4700K to +1121K. By 2004 (again taking the five-year average, including
2006) there had been a further increase of +0.4413K to +0.5534. The mean annual increase in
the 30 years 1010-1940 was thus 0.0157K more than two and a quarter times greater than the
0.0069K mean annual increase in the 64 years to 2004. Mean global temperature has hardly
risen at all in the five years since the IPCC's last report. And the fact of the
20th-century temperature increase tells us nothing of the cause. It is interesting, for
instance, that the polar icecaps on Mars are receding, inferentially in response to
increased solar activity. At any rate, it is certain that anthropogenic planetary warming
is not responsible. It is possible, therefore, that most of the warming both before and
after 1940 was heliogenic.
Sea level: Your correspondent does not disagree with my statement that the IPCC has revised
its upper-bound estimate of sea level rise to 17 inches (0.43m). He says, however, that
this upper bound is based on the A1 scenario, by which world population will peak in
mid-century at ~9bn and fall thereafter. So was the 2001 report's upper bound of 0.88m. I
was correctly comparing like for like. The Sunday Telegraph, which reported these figures,
has been told that the revisions arise from "better data" now available to the IPCC,
supporting skeptics' conclusions that the IPCC's figures are little better than exaggerated
guesses. Morner (2004) concludes firmly that there is little evidence for sea level rising
any faster now than it has in geologically-recent times. Your correspondent says that the
A2 scenario is "business-as-usual": in fact, it is an extreme scenario regarded by very
nearly all serious demographers as absurdly unrealistic, in that it posits an increase in
world population to 15bn by 2100, when it is now almost certain that rising prosperity and
the consequent decrease in birth rates will cause population to peak somewhere between 9bn
and 10bn in mid-century, and plummet thereafter.
Reliability of the IPCC's reports: I understand that the IPCC's 2007 draft does not contain
an apology for the defective "hockey-stick" graph, which the US National Academy of
Sciences has described as having "a validation skill not significantly different from
zero". In plain English, this means the graph was rubbish. It is difficult to have
confidence in a body which, after its principal conclusion is demonstrated in the
peer-reviewed, scientific literature and in numerous independent reports as having been
useless, fails to make the appropriate withdrawal and apology. Worse, the UN continues to
use the defective graph. This failure of basic academic honesty on the IPCC's part was the
main reason why I began my investigation of the supposed climate-change "consensus".
The supposed scientific "consensus": Your correspondent seems unaware of the letter written
by 61 Canadian and other scientists in climate and related fields to the Canadian Prime
Minister. At the end of the attached commentary on Al Gore's recent attempt to rebut my
articles on climate change in the Sunday Telegraph, beneath the references, I have appended
the full text of the letter and the names, qualifications and then-current affiliations of
all 61 scientists. Al gore and others tend to lean rather more heavily than is wise upon a
single, rather bad one-page essay in Science for their contention that there is a
scientific consensus to the effect that most of the warming in the past half-century was
anthropogenic. The essay was by Oreskes (2004), who said that she had analyzed 928
abstracts mentioning "climate change" published in peer-reviewed journals on the Thomson
ISI database between 1993 and 2003, and that none of the 928 had expressed dissent from the
"consensus". Dr. Benny Peiser of Liverpool John Moores University subsequently made a more
careful enquiry. Science had been compelled to publish an erratum to the effect that the
search term used by Oreskes had not been the neutral "climate change" - which returned some
12,000 articles, but the more loaded "global climate change", which returned 1,117
articles. Of these, Dr. Peiser found that only 1% had explicitly endorsed the "consensus"
as defined by Oreskes"; that almost three times as many had explicitly expressed doubt or
outright disagreement; and that less than one-third had expressed explicit or implicit
agreement with the "consensus". He wrote a paper for Science pointing out these serious
defects, which pointed to a conclusion diametrically opposite to that of Oreskes. Science
at first asked him to shorten his paper, and then said that, because conclusions like his
had been widely reported on the internet, his paper would not be published. As far as I can
discover, Science has not published any corrigendum to this day, providing further
confirmation of what I have long suspected: that the leading peer-reviewed journals, having
unwisely taken strongly-political editorial positions on the question of climate change,
are no longer objective.
The need for honest science: It was only after years of increasingly-public pressure that
Nature was induced to oblige Mann et al., the authors of the useless "hockey-stick" graph
that starred in the IPCC's 2001 report, to publish a mealy-mouthed, partial and
unsatisfactory corrigendum. In such an environment of flagrant dishonesty in which the UN
and the scientific journals persist long after the falsity of their absurd and extreme
claims has been properly demonstrated, it is in my view unreasonable to expect China,
India, Indonesia, Brazil and other fast-polluting countries to deny to themselves the
fossil-fuelled economic growth which we in the West have been fortunate enough to enjoy.
Until there is honest science, no one will believe either the UN or the journals to the
extent of adopting the expensive and (on my calculations) probably futile remedial measures
which they and their supporters so stridently advocate. - Christopher
----- Original Message -----
From: "S. Fred Singer"
To: "Curt Covey"
Subject: Re: Belated response to "Say You're Sorry"
Date: Tue, 26 Dec 2006 08:37:25 -0500
At 07:15 PM 12/18/2006, Curt Covey wrote:
Received your 5 May 2006 e-mail via Andy Revkin last week. Regarding the Wall Street
Journal and "other forums that substitute quips, showmanship, hyperbole, and conjecture
for substantial discussion," the following recent quips from their Letters to the Editor
may interest you:
Fred Singer's claim (13 December) that "more than 70% of the warming observed since the
end of the Little Ice Age in 1850 occurred before 1940, and thus before much
human-emitted CO2." Fred has been saying this for a long time. I think it was true 20
years ago. Up-to-date records (e.g. this year's NAS report from North et al.) show that
much more than half the warming since c.1850 has occurred after 1940.
Dear Curt, I am sure you are aware of the fact that such ratios depend entirely on
the choice of time intervals. I don't want to quibble but surely the relevant fact
is that most agree (incl IPCC -- but not Tom Wigley) that the pre-1940 warming was
mostly due to natural causes.
Lord Monckton's claim (13 December) that "The U.N. [presumably IPCC] is about to cut its
high-end estimate of sea-level rise in 2100 from three feet to just 17 inches." We are
not supposed to discuss IPCC reports before they become final, but the last draft I saw
does indeed project 17 inches (0.43 meters) of sea-level rise as the high-end climate
model estimate from Emissions Scenario A1B. The scenario itself, however, is one in
which (to quote IPCC) "global population peaks in mid-century and declines thereafter,
and the rapid introduction of new and more efficient technologies" has atmospheric CO2
leveling off by the end of the century. A business-as-usual scenario (like A2) would
give much higher sea-level rise by 2100.
I don't think so. But you will have to read my forthcoming response to Rahmstorf (in
SciencExpress). Meanwhile, peruse the attached.
Senator Inhofe's comment today (18 December) that "60 scientists" together with "Claude
Allegre, a leading French scientist who is a member of both the U.S. and French National
Academies of Sciences" have concluded that agreements like Kyoto are "unnecessary"
because "the cause of global warming is 'unknown.'" Presumably true, but so what?
Allegre is an award-winning geochemist; the other 60 scientists are unidentified. There
are tens of thousands of members of the American Geophysical Union alone (many of whom
are petroleum geologists). I'm sure you can find a few hundred to support any claim you
want to make about global warming.
I am one of the 60 -- and I am sure you know most of the other 59.
Best for 2007! Fred
S. Fred Singer, President
Science & Environmental Policy Project
1600 S. Eads St, #712-S
Arlington, VA 22202-2907
Read about what is really causing warming
Unstoppable Global Warming : Every 1500 Years
(Natural climate cycles as seen in the geological record)
by S. Fred Singer and Dennis T. Avery
Rowman & Littlefield (2007) 260 pp. $25.00 plus $5 S&H
Send tax-deductible donations to SEPP
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