The Global Warming Challenge

Evidence-based forecasting for climate change

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Archive for May, 2008

Auditing the information used by climate forecasters: Steve McIntyre's Climate Audit website

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There are 19 forecasting principles that provide guidance on identifying, collecting, and preparing data to be used for forecasting. These principles include 3.3 Avoid biased data sources, 3.4 Use diverse sources of data, 4.1 Use unbiased and systematic procedures to collect data, 4.2 Ensure that information is reliable and that measurement error is low, 4.3 Ensure that the information is valid, 4.4 Obtain all of the important data, 4.6 Obtain the most recent data, 5.1 Clean the data, and 5.4 Adjust for unsystematic past events. While some of these principles at least may appear to be common sense, they are nevertheless often violated in practice with the consequence that forecasts are poor or even invalid. The Climate Audit site reports the findings of the often painstaking detective work required to determine whether the data used by climate scientists are consistent with these principles.

Written by climatebet

May 22nd, 2008 at 12:44 am

Posted in forecasting

Secretary of the Interior ignores scientific evidence on forecasting, instead favoring experts' opinions to list thriving polar bear population as threatened

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Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced on May 14, 2008 that he is accepting the recommendation of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dale Hall to list the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The listing is based on the best available science, which shows that loss of sea ice threatens and will likely continue to threaten polar bear habitat. This loss of habitat puts polar bears at risk of becoming endangered in the foreseeable futures”. See the U.S. Department of the Interior website for the full announcement.

This extraordinary announcement is at odds with evidence that the polar bear population is currently thriving, and is based on false assumptions and unscientific forecasting procedures. The forthcoming Interfaces paper by Armstrong, Green, and Soon, provides evidence that the “best available science” does not support a listing.

Written by climatebet

May 17th, 2008 at 10:26 pm

IPCC as a political organization

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Green and Armstrong’s paper “Global Warming: Forecasts by Scientists versus Scientific Forecasts,” found that the IPCC reached its conclusions about global warming despite the lack of a single scientific forecast. How could scientists do this? Tim Ball, an eminent climatologist, explains that the IPCC process was political rather than scientific in his article “How UN structures were designed to prove human CO2 was causing global warming.” An excerpt is available below.

The IPCC is a political organization and yet it is the sole basis of the claim of a scientific consensus on climate change. Consensus is neither a scientific fact nor important in science, but it is very important in politics. There are 2500 members in the IPCC divided between 600 in Working Group I (WGI), who examine the actual climate science, and 1900 in working Groups II and III (WG II and III), who study “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability” and “Mitigation of Climate Change” respectively…They accept without question the findings of WGI and assume warming due to humans is a certainty. In a circular argument typical of so much climate politics the work of the 1900 is listed as ‘proof’ of human caused global warming. Through this they established the IPCC as the only credible authority thus further isolating those who raised questions.

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Written by climatebet

May 1st, 2008 at 10:46 pm

Posted in global warming