Global warming, updated
is certainly not the phrase that pops to mind in the past two days, since right now it’s 14oF, and yesterday it was 11oF. That’s –10 to the decimally-inclined. Regardless, two articles at TCS bring some light to the subject of climate change.
The first article, What Defines the Arctic? A Discussion of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment dwells on the importance of what is being measured, and how, raising the question of scientific misconduct:
There is the astronomical definition of the Arctic, which is defined by the Arctic Circle at 66.5ºN, where there is at least one 24-hour day and one 24-hour night each year. There is the ancient Greek definition, which divided the world into three zones — the Torrid, the Temperate and the Frigid — which would make the Arctic Frigid third start at 60ºN. And then there are definitions used to create the temperature record. It is an important matter because the temperature record differs with each Arctic definition. Where one looks often determines what one measures.
The second article, Buenos Aires: Kyoto’s Waterloo, also dwells on scientific miscunduct:
Newcomers to the global warming debate are often surprised to notice that passions are running high, which has an adverse impact on both form and substance of scientific intercourse. In this respect the accusations and the subsequent process against Bjorn Lomborg represented an absolute low. Fortunately, he was completely vindicated afterwards on appeal. The arguments which were advanced in the second ruling were the spitting image of those which had already been developed by an international group of scientists, who were all experts in the field of scientific integrity, with the Netherlands’ Arthur Rörsch, as lead author. Recently Rörsch has embarked on a new project, exposing infractions of good scientific practice which he encountered when joining the global warming debate. They include a wide variety of scientific misconduct, including: intimidation and expulsion of sceptical scientists; deriding and ostracizing opponents; other sorts of ad hominem attacks; the invocation of consensus, while ignoring opposing views, even those which have been published in the peer-reviewed literature; dismissing the right and/or competence of scientists of neighbouring scientific disciplines to participate in the climate debate, especially if they hold opposing views and refusal to enter into scientific debate to sort out differences; accusing opposing scientists of representing commercial interests, such as those of the oil and coal industry; manipulation of data and spin-doctoring of ‘scientific’ reports; attribution of extreme weather events to man-made global warming; the use of models as evidence, etc. All these infractions will be well documented in the report.
The article points out that, “Since the refusal by the G-77, China and India to accept any commitment to reduce emissions as from 2012, when Kyoto Mark I expires, and — more surprisingly — the announcement by Italy that it will withdraw from the Kyoto process in the same year, we have entered a totally different ball game.”
In the meantime climate scepticism is gaining ground in Western Europe. It is even becoming respectable. Many organisations, often cum websites, provide ample information about the views of the climate sceptics, thus breaking the de facto information monopoly of the pro-Kyoto scientists belonging to the ‘established climate science community’.
Scientific integrity, not scientific misconduct, is what is needed.