Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Pielke research group and problems with the IPCC reports

I stumbled across an interesting blog entitled "Climate Science: Roger Pielke Sr. Research Group Weblog" that has a lot of interesting scientific information relating to global warming and climate change. The summary for The Pielke Research Group at CIRES tells us that:

The Pielke research group focuses on land-atmosphere interactions on the local, mesoscale, regional, and global scales. These interactions include biophysical, biogeochemical, and biogeographic effects. The RAMS model is a major tool used in this research. RAMS has been coupled to two different ecosystem-dynamics models (CENTURY and GEMTM) as part of these studies. Also applied is the CCM3 atmospheric global model from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. Our studies range from the tropics into the high Arctic regions. Our group has also applied RAMS to atmospheric-ocean interactions, including Arctic sea-ice feedbacks. We have investigated these nonlinear interactions within the Earth's climate system using the coupled RAMS model, as well as simplified nonlinear mathematical models.

Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. is a Senior Research Scientist at CIRES. CIRES is the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and is jointly sponsored by the University of Colorado at Boulder and the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research at NOAA. In other words, somebody that can be considered a "heavy hitter" in the field of understanding weather and climate issues.

In the blog I read the following:

The Climate Science Weblog has clearly documented the following
conclusions since July 2005:
  1. The needed focus for the study of climate change and variability is on the regional and local scales. Global and zonally-averaged climate metrics would only be important to the extent that they provide useful information on these space scales.
  2. Global and zonally-averaged surface temperature trend assessments, besides having major difficulties in terms of how this metric is diagnosed and analyzed, do not provide significant information on climate change and variability on the regional and local scales.
  3. Global warming is not equivalent to climate change. Significant, societally important climate change, due to both natural- and human- climate forcings, can occur without any global warming or cooling.
  4. The spatial pattern of ocean heat content change is the appropriate metric to assess climate system heat changes including global warming.
  5. In terms of climate change and variability on the regional and local scale, the IPCC Reports, the CCSP Report on surface and tropospheric temperature trends, and the U.S. National Assessment have overstated the role of the radiative effect of the anthropogenic increase of CO2 relative to the role of the diversity of other human climate climate forcing on global warming, and more generally, on climate variability and change.
  6. Global and regional climate models have not demonstrated skill at predicting regional and local climate change and variability on multi-decadal time scales.
  7. Attempts to significantly influence regional and local-scale climate based on controlling CO2 emissions alone is an inadequate policy for this purpose.
  8. A vulnerability paradigm, focused on regional and local societal and environmental resources of importance, is a more inclusive, useful, and scientifically robust framework to interact with policymakers, than is the focus on global multi-decadal climate predictions which are downscaled to the regional and local scales. The vulnerability paradigm permits the evaluation of the entire spectrum of risks associated with different social and environmental threats, including climate variability and change.

Humans are significantly altering the global climate, but in a variety of diverse ways beyond the radiative effect of carbon dioxide. The IPCC assessments have been too conservative in recognizing the importance of these human climate forcings as they alter regional and global climate. These assessments have also not communicated the inability of the models to accurately forecast the spread of possibilities of future climate. The forecasts, therefore, do not provide any skill in quantifying the impact of different mitigation strategies on the actual climate response that would occur.

In other words, we shouldn't accept the IPCC summaries for policymakers at face value.

I also read the following:

As shown clearly in Figure 7 on the RSS website>, the following conclusions can be made:

1. Since about 2002 there has been NO statistically significant global average warming in the lower and middle troposphere,

and

2. Since about 1995 there has been NO statistically significant cooling in the stratosphere.

The IPCC SPM conclusion that "warming of the climate system is unequivocal" is wrong as it ignores the lack of such warming in recent years by these other metrics of climate system heat changes [there is also an informative comment #11 on this issue under the weblog http://climatesci.colorado.edu/2007/04/15/the-correction-to-the-lyman-et-al-2006-paper-is-available/#comment-167200].

Their focus on the global average near surface temperature trends neglects to report that there are major issues with the robustness of this climate metric of global warming as reported in the papers cited in

Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, D. Niyogi, S. Fall, J. Steinweg-Woods, K. Hubbard, X. Lin, M. Cai, Y.-K. Lim, H. Li, J. Nielsen-Gammon, K. Gallo, R. Hale, R. Mahmood, R.T. McNider, and P. Blanken, 2007: Unresolved issues with the assessment of multi-decadal global land surface temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res. in press,

many of which were available to the writers of the IPCC SPM but conveniently ignored. At the very least, the lack of recent tropospheric warming and stratospheric cooling in the RSS data and the warming claimed for the near surface air temperatures conflicts with the multi-decadal global climate models in terms of how these temperatures are predicted to change.

Perhaps global warming will begin again. However, the neglect to include the recent lack of tropospheric warming and stratospheric cooling (both of which are predicted to continue quasi-linearly for the coming decades by the multi-decadal global climate models, except for major volcanic eruptions) results in a seriously biased report by the IPCC. It has been disappointing that the media so far has chosen to parrot the statements in the IPCC SPMs rather than do investigative reporting on these issues.

And this one statement really stands out:

... the neglect to include the recent lack of tropospheric warming and stratospheric cooling ... results in a seriously biased report by the IPCC.

This leads me back to my current position, which is that I have not yet seen science that supports the wild claims and predictions made by the proponents of the global warming and climate change movement. The central claim that it is all about carbon dioxide is now about as credible as the original claims made about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But, since there is big money to be made and great power to be had, the anti-carbon dioxide movement will continue.

-- Jack Krupansky

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At 3:39 PM , Blogger Stivel Velasquez said...

The inability of climate assessment reports such as the CCSP Report “Temperature
Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling
Differences” to present the diversity of peer-reviewed scientific
perspectives on the subject should be a wake-up call to policymakers.sportsbook This lack of balance in the Reports is systemic in almost all such
assessments, including the IPCC Reports and the U.S. National Assessment.
If the goal of such reports is to provide a comprehensive perspective on
the state of climate science, then reports that enforce a limited
perspective, even if held by a majority of scientists, fail to accurately
present the state of science.
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