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UN To Create Independent Panel To Review IPCC

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the this-can-only-end-well dept.

Earth 342

Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that an independent board of scientists will be appointed to review the workings of the world's top climate science panel, which has faced recriminations over inaccuracies in a 2007 report that included a prediction that Himalayan glaciers would vanish by 2035, although there is no scientific consensus to that effect. That brief citation — drawn from a magazine interview with a glaciologist who says he was misquoted — and sporadic criticism of the panel's leader have fueled skepticism in some quarters about the science underlying climate change. Nick Nuttall, a spokesman for the United Nations Environment Program, said the review body would be made up of 'senior scientific figures' who could perhaps produce a report by late summer for consideration at a meeting of the climate panel in October in South Korea. 'I think we are bringing some level of closure to this issue,' says Nuttall. One area to be examined is whether the panel should incorporate so-called gray literature, a term to describe nonpeer-reviewed science, in its reports. Many scientists say that such material, ranging from reports by government agencies to respected research not published in scientific journals, is crucial to seeking a complete picture of the state of climate science."

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342 comments

Asking the fox to guard the hen house (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31297136)

Nothing could be sillier than some fake UN panel investigating itself.

Whatever anyone thinks of AGW or GW or CC or anything else, this has to be seen for the nonsense that it is.

There are no "independent" climate scientists and haven't been for decades, if ever.

How do you know what is real? (3, Informative)

microbox (704317) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297258)

I was thinking the same thing. For example, a political action group could be using this process to strip climate science of the peer-review process. As a consequence, certain ideologically motivated (*cough* laissez-faire capitalists *cough*) institutions will further their actual claim that there isn't scientific consensus.

However, there was scientific consensus in the 70s [youtube.com] .

So -- how do you know what is real?

Re:Asking the fox to guard the hen house (5, Insightful)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297288)

There are no "independent" climate scientists and haven't been for decades, if ever.

That's a pretty bold claim. Do you also think it is the same with sciences? Are there no independant botanists either? Are they all involved with some big conspiracy to hide the fact that all the leaders of the world are actually vegetables?

Hmm, maybe not. I does sound a tad silly. Perhaps the conspiracy just involves those scientists who claim something that you don't want to believe.

Re:Asking the fox to guard the hen house (0)

M8e (1008767) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297410)

"independent" is not the same thing as independent, that why it's in an "quotation".

You can only have climate scientists that is "independent" of "the big conspiracy" if there is in fact a "the big conspiracy".

Re:Asking the fox to guard the hen house (3, Insightful)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297426)

There are no "independent" climate scientists and haven't been for decades, if ever.

That's a pretty bold claim. Do you also think it is the same with sciences? Are there no independant botanists either? Are they all involved with some big conspiracy to hide the fact that all the leaders of the world are actually vegetables?

Hmm, maybe not. I does sound a tad silly. Perhaps the conspiracy just involves those scientists who claim something that you don't want to believe.

There actually are independent scientists, and as the CRU emails show, they have been disparaged and shut up at every possible point.

Re:Asking the fox to guard the hen house (3, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#31298086)

There actually are independent scientists, and as the CRU emails show, they have been disparaged and shut up at every possible point.

Really? Disparaged maybe, but the papers the CRU emails were talking about trying to "shut up" were published anyway.

Re:Asking the fox to guard the hen house (5, Funny)

LockeOnLogic (723968) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297474)

Why don't you open your eyes? Botanists have been conspiring for decades to push a pro-plant agenda. The "nutritional value" and "oxygen" they talk about is nothing but a front of bad data. All so plants can spread across this globe, making botanists rich and powerful. They don't care that the cost of doing business will skyrocket due to increasing landscaping costs. So long as they get their juicy tomato grants they will continue to lie for grant money.

Re:Asking the fox to guard the hen house (4, Funny)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 4 years ago | (#31298270)

That's just what Big Plankton wants you to think. You bought the lie!

Re:Asking the fox to guard the hen house (4, Insightful)

jadavis (473492) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297900)

Do you also think it is the same with sciences?

In other scientific fields, the problem is not nearly as severe because:
(a) There is not such a huge difference in the amount of money scientists receive for one result versus the opposite result; or
(b) The field is not as politically charged; or
(c) The ultimate accuracy of a theory is seen more decisively in a shorter period of time.

Even with other money-charged scientific fields, like medicine, the results ultimately play out in clinical trials and then general availability. The truth will reveal itself relatively soon, serious investigations will follow any serious problem, and the consequences to anyone who violates the rules are severe.

However, with climate scientists, just like with economists, they can always claim their theories are correct throughout their entire lifetimes regardless of the outcomes. They just say that some "other, unforeseen factor" changed the outcome without contradicting their theory. And serious investigations are much less likely -- note that "ClimateGate" was the result of hacking rather than systematic review or investigation.

None of this means that the climate isn't changing. But it does mean that we will have a major problem getting accurate information, making useful predictions, and crafting effective policy regarding climate change (that is, if policy is the correct approach at all).

Re:Asking the fox to guard the hen house (5, Interesting)

crmarvin42 (652893) | more than 4 years ago | (#31298312)

Mod this guy up.

There will always be problems with "indepenence" of scientific research when the main (only) funding agency is a political body and an incredibly long validation period. If you don't produce the results the political body wants, they'll cut funding. If they are the only funding source, your options are being broke but honest, or putting at least a little spin on your results to keep getting funded at some level.

My research has been pressured by funding agencies, but since the main funding source is industry I can always find funding from a competitor (it helps that there are several) to continue my work if the original funding agency doesn't like what my data indicates.

Re:Asking the fox to guard the hen house (0, Troll)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31298332)

Why do we care about this? What is the consequence if somebody thinks the earth is getting warmer or cooler?

Sure, but... (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297380)

IPRIPCC would be such a badass acronym!

Re:Asking the fox to guard the hen house (1)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297698)

In other news, Fox to launch investigation into Hen-House raid.

An independent panel - (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31297140)

- to review the work of another independent panel?

Extra, Extra! (4, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297150)

UN agrees to let scientists disagree ...

The UN doesn't really do anything very well ... and this won't be any different. Their contribution will most likely be just another thumb on the political scale of this controversial topic.

Re:Extra, Extra! (1, Flamebait)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297262)

Their contribution will most likely be just another thumb on the political scale of this controversial topic.

And it won't satisfy any of the AGW deniers. I mean, they're already tinfoiled up about THE GRAND SCIENTIFIC CONSPIRACY; does the UN think their findings won't be rejected as some commie-pinko-Third World black-helicopter invasion of 'Merican sovereignty?

Re:Extra, Extra! (4, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297404)


Well for a start, calling those of us who have some skepticism "deniers" doesn't do you any favours. As to telling us what we will or wont be satisfied with is not your place either. We've just seen some of the leading proponents of AGW fudging data, destroying data, using personal influence in attempting to keep critical papers from being included in reports. If a second body can help bring some credibility back to the debate, then I'm all for it. The interest of anyone should be the truth and it's insulting to say that anyone who questions what they're told is doing so because they are trying to conceal the truth. It's by questioning that the truth is found and we shouldn't criticise people for questioning and saying someone is a "denier" when all they're saying is "the evidence hasn't convinced me" is wrong. And let's not even get started on your characterisations about black helicopters and commies. You think you understand climate science? I'd say you don't. The climate is very, very complicated and I doubt Phil Jones of the CRU is posting on Slashdot under the username Bemopolis. So don't mock other people who admit they don't know how the climate works and ask for explanations.

Re:Extra, Extra! (3, Insightful)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297772)

How much of the literature have you actually read, yourself? Not books. Not newspaper articles. Not a lecture from a blond melonhead on FNC. Actual, peer-reviewed, scientific articles written by actual scientists who understand science and do science for a living. Seriously. How much. And how much did you understand. What other scientific theories did you put to the same rigors before you accepted them. Heliocentrism? Gravity? Do you refuse to fly because you don't feel the jury is completely out on the Bernoulli effect? But perhaps I *am* being presumptuous; based on recent surveys, and assuming you are American, it's about a 50-50 chance that you don't even accept the well-established theory of evolution.

"But, but, but, the climate is complicated." Complicated? Shit, the human body is complicated. When you get sick, do you comb through the medical journals to find out the double-blind study on the latest treatment your ailment (which you have diagnosed using your years of medical training and the DSM, no doubt). Because hey, if you don't, you are putting your very life in the hands of scientists WHO MAY BE IN ON THE CONSPIRACY. My God man, it's YOUR LIFE, employ some of that "skepticism". When you feel that lump under your armpit, get thee to a homeopath and crystal healer! And don't forget to stop by a Scientology church for your free audit — it could be a fat thetan.

But of course not. While doctors can and do make mistakes, on the whole they are generally treating their patients under the current understanding of their field. So it is with climatologists. So please, spare me your hurt wittle feewings because I know the difference between a skeptic and a denier, and say so. And while you're at it, Google "confirmation bias".

But hey, thanks for making my point.

Re:Extra, Extra! (1, Insightful)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297950)

What you and everyone else just can't seem to grasp is that it is the very "peer review process" that has been compromised. In climate science peer review has become nothing more than a circle jerk, so claiming something has been peer reviewed means diddly squat.

Until we can trust the process, climate science is just a bunch of claims and counter-claims. Of course, this new U.N. panel is a waste of time.

Re:Extra, Extra! (2, Insightful)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 4 years ago | (#31298016)

What you and everyone else just can't seem to grasp is that it is the very "peer review process" that has been compromised. In climate science peer review has become nothing more than a circle jerk, so claiming something has been peer reviewed means diddly squat.

So, what you are saying is that *no* amount of scientific data and publication will convince you, because the "peer review process" has been compromised. The same argument made about biology among the "Intelligent Design" crowd.
That's called denial.
That makes you a denier.

Re:Extra, Extra! (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31298354)

The CRU mails include a wonderful example where a scientific journal collaborates with the CRU to delay publishing of a paper for a few months so they have enough time to cobble together a satisfying rebuttal of it to be published at the same time. But of course, it's obvious that you haven't read them, and have no intention to ever do so.
Your tireless wholehearted and rather blind dedication for only one side is called zeal.
That makes you a zealot.

Re:Extra, Extra! (4, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#31298296)


Goodness! By using terminology like "hurt wittle feewings" and extrapolating from my skepticism about AGW that I must also disbelieve evolution, medical science and refuse to fly because I think aviation is unproven, you have completely refuted my own post which was a mere logical argument following from what you said. Well played, sir, well played.

But just so I don't get sucked into the same vortex of facetiousness that you have, I'll respond to some of your points anyway. You're likening of climate science to current medical science is very unfounded. The foundations of practical medical science (a) has been developed over a very long time whilst climate science in its current form is very recent and far more significantly (b) medical science is based on falsifiable experiments - many of them. Do you want to list some of the falsifiable experiments that climate scientists have carried out? We can compare them to the millions of repeated experiments that form the foundation of modern medical science. And remember, that medical science is frequently limited in scope. We try this single drug on 500 hundred mice with cancer and note its effect. The climate is a massive holistic system that makes it near impossible to isolate factors in the same way. Climate scientists simulate falsifiable experiments by looking for "natural" experiments in history and the environment today and that's valid, but it's not the same thing by a long shot. So we are very valid in making distinctions between medical science and climate science.

And I think your parts about heliocentrism and gravity are hillarious. The implication is that you think anyone who doubts AGW might as well doubt gravity. Really? They're equivalent in their obviousness? You're really prepared to say: "Well if you don't notice the impact of CO2 in the upper atmosphere and how that may cause increasing humidity from the oceans causing a runaway effect which is exasperated by released glacial methane but somewhat mitigated by the increased albedo of the planet and the greater level of carbon-absorbing oceanic life-forms and plantlife then you might as well just doubt that there's a force that stops you floating into space, moron."

Really, the point I made was "without studying all the material yourself and researching it, how can you state what the Truth is with great certainty". Do you want to explain how "how much of the literature have you read?" refutes my point? Because I don't see a connection. I say we don't know, and you respond with "well you don't know." That doesn't follow.

And for more poor logic, no, I didn't google "confirmation bias". I find it tiresome how many people try to argue by Google, as if looking up a word is akin to making an argument. You might want to explain how someone who says that they don't know the answer and haven't reached a conclusion, is guilty of "confirmation bias". But who knows. Maybe if you google "relevance" you'll be able to cut and paste the results into your reply. ;)

If you want to reply again, this time please actually argue points, rather than a spiel about scientology and other attempts at argument through mockery.

Regards,
H.

Re:Extra, Extra! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31297818)

"the evidence hasn't convinced me"

Come to think of it. What evidence do we have of the heliocentric model? Have you studied observations of the planetary orbits? Have you done parallax measurements?

What evidence do we have that man was on the moon? Some flimsy video clips? Have you studied the moon rocks that were brought back? And could you tell the difference between them and some obscure rocks found who-knows-where?

What evidence do we have of anything, beyond "cogito, ergo sum". Not much really. Its about trust. Trust in your fellow humans. I bet that most people (even those elite few posting here) have actually never studied climatology, nor read a single of the quoted papers in the IPCC report. (We have ofcourse everybody read TFR...). But neither should we need to. You don't need to know how the processor works to use a computer. You don't need to read the cellular phone protocol specs to make a call.

The bottom line is that you can either have blind faith in the IPCC ( blind faith is popular in e.g. religions) or you can argue that the user's guide to the climate is faulty (no "warning, hot contents" printed on the coffee cup). Either attitude stinks, but for the wast majority there is no alternative. Which guarantees a hefty and continued flame war.

Re:Extra, Extra! (1)

zigmeister (1281432) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297924)

You don't need to read the cellular phone protocol specs to make a call.

So there was a conspiracy to trick me into an EE degree. Ha, I knew it, and yes I'm bitter.

Re:Extra, Extra! (1)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 4 years ago | (#31298132)

Come to think of it. What evidence do we have of the heliocentric model?

The aberration of starlight. The phases of Venus. Measurement of the Earth and Sun's gravitational influence on interstellar probes. To name a few.

Have you studied observations of the planetary orbits?

Yes, yes I have. In fact, I am in the office on a Saturday writing code to trace out asteroid orbits.

Have you done parallax measurements?

No, but I am an end user of the Hipparcos database. I guess that would fall under "trust".

Re:Extra, Extra! (5, Insightful)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 4 years ago | (#31298072)

As to telling us what we will or wont be satisfied with is not your place either.

Actually, it is quite reasonable to say what the deniers will be satisfied with because they are so predictable. For example, look at your own post:

  • Complain about being called a denier
  • Make vague and unsubstantiated accusations about "fudging data" and "destroying data" (with the implication of trying to hide the facts)
  • Be the victim: "Our papers get censored. It's all a conspiracy!"
  • Mention Phil Jones - imply he is the antichrist where ever possible

It is all cookie cutter stuff. You did miss a few points, though.

  • It is actually getting cooler (Warning! Do not link to graphs)
  • The science isn't settled - the debate still rages
    (Warning! Do not use this in the same post as "there is no debate because we get censored")
  • Point out the few errors in the IPCC report and say the entire thing is discredited because of them
  • Say that AGW has been proved to be all a hoax and hope that nobody asks for details
  • There is a lot of money to be made in being an alarmist (but don't mention stock options in mining companies or industry funded think-tanks)

But seriously, if you are indeed a genuine skeptic, then you should recognise that the denier tag is not being attributed to you. You must have spotted that there ARE people out there who will not be convinced on this subject no matter how much science you can show them.

Re:Extra, Extra! (3, Funny)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 4 years ago | (#31298156)

Warmerbot:
The new evidence does not invalidate the science *click!*... invalidate the science *click!*... invalidate the science *click!*... invalidate the science *click!*...

Re:Extra, Extra! (2, Interesting)

chrb (1083577) | more than 4 years ago | (#31298340)

calling those of us who have some skepticism "deniers" doesn't do you any favours.

And yet, calling people global warming alarmists [google.com] and warmists [google.com] is fine... ... regardless, what would you prefer to be called? Calling someone who denies global warming theory a "global warming denier" seems to be somewhat logical - rather more intellectually honest than those who would then immediately "Godwin" [wikipedia.org] any further discussion by pretending that they have been called a Nazi. Does denying that the world is flat make you a Nazi? No. Does denying that the moon landings have occurred make you a Nazi? No. So why is it that only global warming deniers immediately leap to the conclusion that they are being likened to those who deny the Holocaust? This is not the behaviour of reasonable debaters.

Re:Extra, Extra! (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297740)

The UN doesn't really do anything very well ... and this won't be any different.

What do you expect of a "democratic" body made up of representatives from almost entirely undemocratic/fascist/theocratic/monarchic and abusive regimes?

After all, this is the same body that makes a yearly game of putting countries like Cuba, Libya, Syria, and Zimbabwe on "human rights" panels so that they can issue reports bitching and moaning about how bad "human rights abuses" are in places like Europe, Canada, and the US. Also the same body that cheerfully broke the shit out of its own charter, ejecting a charter member and installing to the seat instead the illegitimate militarist/communist regime now running "mainland china."

Also the same body whose "chief nuclear inspector" is ineffective people like Hans Blix and Mohammed Elbaradei - they wouldn't even fire Elbaradei after he admitted, right on camera, that he was just running interference so that Iran could finish their nuclear weapon research.

Heh. Parker & Stone had it right:
"Hans Blix: Then let me look around, so I can ease the UN's collective mind. I'm sorry, but the UN must be firm with you. Let me in, or else.
Kim Jong Il: Or else what?
Hans Blix: Or else we will be very angry with you... and we will write you a letter, telling you how angry we are."

My particular facts. (1, Interesting)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297172)

Here's how I see it: Something is causing the environment to change. It may not be all us but it is very likely that we are contributing in a significant amount. Individually we need to be responsible to the environment and that means that the one thing in our direct control, our car, is the place to start. Cars are necessary, we don't know what we would do without them. That doesn't mean we can't point to them as an issue. The effect of climate change is that people who do not matter will die. Here in the first world we have technology and more importantly infrastructure to deal with the changes that are happening. In the third world millions of people who are already on the edge will be pushed over by drought. But in the end, they don't contribute to the bottom line anyway and its much easier to drive the SUV and make it someone elses problem.

Re:My particular facts. (4, Insightful)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297242)

Something is causing the environment to change. It may not be all us but it is very likely that we are contributing in a significant amount.

Since you've already decided that people [especially relatively rich Westerners] are the significant contributors to your already decided 'changes' in environment, you're just the kind of 'scientist' being solicited for the 'independent panel'.

Re:My particular facts. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297280)

Greenhouse gases follow some formulas. We can argue with math all day. Which class in the world is the primary source of greenhouse gases?

Re:My particular facts. (4, Interesting)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297298)

The sun is the primary source of the far strongest greenhouse gas.. water vapor.

Re:My particular facts. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297328)

Every year for the last ten years has been setting record temperatures. Global warming, you are correct, may be a result of a cycle in the sun itself. I don't know if I fully subscribe to that, I think that perhaps our industrial greenhouse gases were just enough to warm the planet to release further gases such as the methane (THAT is a wicked greenhouse gas) that is now beginning to be released from permafrost that used to never melt.

Re:My particular facts. (4, Informative)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297414)

Every year for the last ten years has been setting record temperatures.

Wrong, unless you are talking about localized records, in which case that will always be true.

Its been cooling a bit for the last 8 years... the trend began in 2002. You are either making things up, or repeating what you heard from someone else who was making things up.

Re:My particular facts. (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297454)

Is that trend statistically significant?

Northwest Passage (4, Interesting)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297484)

Remember what used to be the mythical North-West Passage? I hope to be wrong but there is now ocean where you can sail ships through that used to be a global ice cap.

Re:Northwest Passage (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297808)

Apparently you're off topic. Perhaps you might make wild speculations about a conspiracy among climate scientists, and make up for the karmic loss.

Re:My particular facts. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31298170)

There is a lot of short term - decadal - varability due to dynamics that are not fully understood and some that are (such as El Nino, volcanic events, etc.). Only when you look at the larger picture do clear trends emerge.

Re:My particular facts. (3, Insightful)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 4 years ago | (#31298256)

Its been cooling a bit for the last 8 years... the trend began in 2002.

Wow! I can't believe anyone seriously uses that argument anymore. This last decade as been the hottest decade on record. Any slight cooling doesn't change that. You make it sound like it must be much cooler than the record books, but 2009 was globally the 5th hottest year on record.

Have a look at any temperature graph [wikipedia.org] and tell us how significant is your cooling period. Can you spot any other similar cooling pattern in the preceding decades? If so, did those times also prove that it is getting cooler, or did it just bounce back even higher?

Re:My particular facts. (1, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297452)

Every year for the last ten years has been setting record temperatures.

This is just false. I have yet to see a report that does not agree that there has been no warming since 1998. And many reports that suggest temperatures have fallen slightly since 1998 (several that suggest they have fallen as much as they rose in the previous 2 or 3 decades of warming).

Re:My particular facts. (2, Informative)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297680)

There's an interesting toy at this website [climate.gov] . It's called the global climate dashboard. You can view Temperature, carbon dioxide, incoming sunlight, sea level, arctic sea ice for various periods, adjusting the siders to zoom in on various decades and so on. (Pay attention to the vertical axis, though)

The interesting thing is that 1998 stands out like a sore thumb. 1997 was cooler and so was 1999.

But the naughties? Warmer than 1999. Warmer than 1997. Most of the decade was just slightly cooler than 1998, with very little variability.

Re:My particular facts. (2, Informative)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 4 years ago | (#31298206)

Here ya go. [cnn.com] Now you can't say that you've never seen a report that says that there has been warming since 1998.

Re:My particular facts. (1, Troll)

rlp (11898) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297524)

Every year for the last ten years has been setting record temperatures

Phil Jones has admitted that there has been no global warming since 1995. The CRU was massaging the data to show warming that wasn't there. NASA was cherry picking data from urban heat islands to show warming that wasn't there.

Blame Canada (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297554)

Because not matter the cause of the blip we now have a self-reinforcing cycle of methane release from our permafrost that will have effects. I'm all for our winters not sucking as much as they used to, I just hope the rest of the world fares as well.

Re:My particular facts. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31297752)

That's not true. Phil Jones didn't say that "there has been no global warming since 1995".
See http://www.skepticalscience.com/Did-Phil-Jones-really-say-global-warming-ended-in-1995.html

Re:My particular facts. (1)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31298336)

Phil Jones has admitted that there has been no global warming since 1995.

No, he said that there was warming since then but the trend failed to meet a 95% significance level.

Suppose we have a coin that might be biased. You flip it four times and it comes up heads all four times. A statistician kindly points out that while there's indications of bias, it doesn't meet the 95% significance level. You then say "Aha! The expert says the coin is not biased!". That is of course not what the statistician said -- essentially he said that four tosses is not yet sufficient to conclude that it is biased (at least not at the 95% significance level). Of course a fifth toss that came up heads as well we could make that conclusion (at least at the 95% significance level); alternatively even if the next toss comes up tails it wouldn't take too many further tosses coming up heads to get us to the 95% significance level either. That is, if you collect a little more data (e.g. start from a year a little further back than 1995) and you'll probably have enough data to conclude the trend is real (at the 95% significance level).

Re:My particular facts. (4, Interesting)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297604)

Regardless of which side of this debate you are on, you must realize that 10 years doesn't mean anything in this debate AND if we're all honest with ourselves, the past 200 years barely scratch the surface. Both camps will claim(when it is convenient for them) that the longer trends are what is important. Hell, we just recently learned of a 60 year cycle in the climate*** and yet we're still bringing up 10 years as if it means something. Knowing there's a cycle that lasts 60 years should mean we should be looking at the past 2,000 years before we open our mouths...

I personally am skeptical of both sides. I can see how AGW would be plausible but I can also see that some of what the so-called deniers are claiming is also factually true and being glossed over.

***That climate cycle just shifted to its cool pattern in the past year so I'm even more skeptical of the claims of "global warming is causing this bad snow", though it *could* hold some truth..I just think they're declaring a winner before the race has even begun.

AND to top it off, the AGW side wants non-peer-reviewed science to be counted on their side but if it's not peer-reviewed and it says the opposite then it's considered garbage. Double standards are not the way to go here if they want to be believed.

Re:My particular facts. (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297870)

Knowing there's a cycle that lasts 60 years should mean we should be looking at the past 2,000 years before we open our mouths...

I see. You do know that by relying on millennial length climate records, you're just walking into Phil Jones's little trap.

Re:My particular facts. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31297994)

You are correct that water vapor is an important greenhouse gas. However, as you would learn in any basic atmospheric science class, water vapor in the atmosphere acts as a feedback rather than a forcing (like CO2, Methane, and N2O). The distinction is critical, and you can read all about it online.

Re:My particular facts. (2, Interesting)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297372)

are we even sure there's a correlation between greenhouse gases and temperature ? And, if that's the case, what those gases are and where they come from ?

I've just listened to a 1-hour program on national radio, with kinda independent climatologists (a French luxury, where many scientists do work for the government), about climate change. These guys don't really seem to agree on anything, with one them them strenuously making the point that earth temperature was mainly linked to solar activity... to the point of making anything else irrelevant.

Re:My particular facts. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297406)

The cause is up in the air and that what is making the issue cloudy. The effects however are not: I live in Canada, we have a lot of permafrost here. That permafrost contains millions of years worth of methane thats been sequestered naturally. It is starting to melt, it never used to. That methane is a vicious greenhouse gas, it makes carbon dioxide look like nothing. With this feedback cycle, we have a practically limitless supply of methane to be released, Canada is going to be a tropical country in fifty years and the US where it is not irrigated will be desert.

Re:My particular facts. (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297902)


And here's a good example of how destructive this AGW debate is becoming. The climate is monstrously complex. I personally don't think we've reached the point that we can argue with sufficient certainty how much different factors contribute to climate change and in what ways, but my opinion is irrelevant. There are lots of reasons to want to cut down on some of the proposed causes of global warming. Cars generate pollution that is bad for us regardless of any effect on the climate. Coal power is probably worse still. Oil is dwindling and we have a world economy founded on it. These reasons alone are grounds for action. But increasingly, everything is becoming focused on AGW. You'll find people arguing till they're blue in the face that CO2 can't have a big effect on the climate and that we should all carry on driving. You'll find others (particularly in the mainstream media) pointing and screaming "denier" at anyone who doesn't consider AGW an accepted and final conclusion. But true skeptics and people who say: "we have to get off oil, we have to develop public transport" are just disappearing in the noise or being attacked by increasingly factionalised groups from both sides.

Mankind is undeniably wreaking terrible damage on the environment, and I'm speaking as someone who tentatively considers AGW to probably false based on what we know at present. But just like US politics has become a partisan mess where neither of your two parties could ever meet a sane person's policies by themselves, so is the Environment becoming an issue where you choose your faction and get the complete Belief Package to go with it - you're an environmentalist of an anti-environmentalist. Doesn't matter if you believe CO2 doesn't contribute significantly but want to stop Indonesia being deforested to produce palm oil for rich Western countries. Doesn't matter if you know that carbon trading is the only way to save the planet but don't really give a fuck about the extinction of the wild tiger. Pick a partisan side and become part of it - that's all the media allows and I'm including debates like this one on Slashdot. As a skeptic of AGW, I can't count the times people have condemned me for wanting to watch the world's environment ruined by human activity on a range of issues. I'm confident I'll have donated more money and time to environmental groups than most of my critics (IFAW for a start), but AGW is polarising people far more than any issue as complex and rarely understood as this has a right to do so. Much like Republican and Democrat partisanship wreaks havoc on sensible policies in the USA, the hysteria over AGW is growing to the point where it similarly impairs reasoned debate.

Who's to blame for this? Well companies like Exxon fucked up to begin with by paying lobbyists to undermine AGW proponents meaning any legitimate skeptics today are tarred with that brush repeatedly, even though the oil companies activities in this area were fairly limited and ultimately pathetic and more harmful to themselves than AGW. Then an increasing number of climate scientists decided that in fighting monsters, they'd become some themselves and you got things like contrived hockey sticks and dubious cut off dates for historical trends and leading scientist destroying data rather than hand it over (I mean who destroys data these days? Who? Even my home PC has version control on it these days). If anything, the scientists have done a better job at propaganda than the oil companies did (should be expected, scientists tend to be pretty smart). But science itself, founded on skepticism rather than getting grant money for producing conclusions that suit the popular beliefs? It's getting buried because the media is on a big crusade. Whether or not AGW is correct to a significant extent, it's undeniable that a lot of the mainstream media are loving being noble and preachy on the subject; they continue to shout as if they are revealing a great truth in the face of vast capitalist conspiracies to silence them, ignoring that they've long since won and it's ironically the AGW skeptics that are getting trodden on, mocked and sidelined.

It's said that the first casualty of any war is the truth. And AGW is becoming a war. That's bad for all of us. Say AGW is correct but wrong in some important details. Climate science is very complex, after all. Now what happens when "the enemy" points out the flaws? Trenches are drawn and people dig in, regardless of legitimacy. What if you discover flaws yourself but you're afraid that they'll be leapt on because things are so polarised and you don't want to give opposition the satisfaction? Nobody likes admitting mistakes to "enemies". But we all make mistakes. The more factionalised this debate becomes both in Academia and in the media, the more perception and one's cause will be set above the truth.

In short, people need to calm the fuck down and be rational. Here's a guide: If you're screaming about how mankind can't possibly affect the climate and it's all a big conspiracy, you're either ignorant or omniscient - there's no inbetween - because it would take you years of research to even make educated guesses at whether AGW is realistic. If you're calling people "deniers" and think anyone who isn't convinced by AGW is either stupid or lying, then you're a brainwashed idealogue - you don't understand the science yourself and you're putting Faith (note capital 'f') in somebody's "work in progress" instead of just saying "the probability of this being true because of x, y and z is high enough that we should act accordingly" which is what you should say.

Nobody knows for certain who is right, but we know for sure that those who are certain are wrong.

Re:My particular facts. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31297246)

Here's how I see it: Something is causing the environment to change. It may not be all us but it is very likely that we are contributing in a significant amount. Individually we need to be responsible to the environment and that means that the one thing in our direct control, our car, is the place to start. Cars are necessary, we don't know what we would do without them. That doesn't mean we can't point to them as an issue. The effect of climate change is that people who do not matter will die. Here in the first world we have technology and more importantly infrastructure to deal with the changes that are happening. In the third world millions of people who are already on the edge will be pushed over by drought. But in the end, they don't contribute to the bottom line anyway and its much easier to drive the SUV and make it someone elses problem.

You make numerous claims and have no evidence to back up any of them. Maybe you should be on the review panel!

Re:My particular facts. (0, Offtopic)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297294)

That is why I said "Here is how I see it." See, I was already modded down for holding an opinion. For a place that obstensibly decries censorship slashdot sure provides the means to easily do so with a "-1 Overrated." But please, add your opinion: I'd like to hear it and if we both don't get modded into oblivion perhaps everyone can refine their opinion further as well.

Yay planet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31297212)

Why would the U.N. need to do this? THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED according to Al Gore. Man-made global warming is destroying the planet and the only way to fix it is to be heavily taxed for all use of carbon and give that money to the international banksters. I'm not too clear on how giving trillions to criminals will fix the planet, but if I was smart I probably wouldn't believe the global warming scam at all.

Re:Yay planet (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#31298358)

Al Gore is an earth quack.

Let's just invade (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31297216)

Can anyone prove that IPCC doesn't have some WMDs? I know I'd like to make sure they don't.

"will be appointed" (2, Insightful)

uassholes (1179143) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297222)

By who?

Re:"will be appointed" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31297250)

Seeing as it is the UN, my guess would be the UN member nations.

Re:"will be appointed" (2, Insightful)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297350)

Yeah, right. It will be UN bureaucrats. There will be no voting or even asking.

Re:"will be appointed" (5, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297396)

Where's Richard Feynman when you need him?

Seriously I think that one of the most important lessons from his role on the NASA Challenger commission, is what an outside can accomplish. He did this by asking questions that the insiders never thought of, and took as "givens."

I would like to see a panel of experts that are not outspoken about global warming, in one way or another. Even if they are not weather experts, they may provide some insight to the scientific methods used.

Re:"will be appointed" (2, Insightful)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 4 years ago | (#31298244)

Seriously I think that one of the most important lessons from his role on the NASA Challenger commission, is what an outside[r] can accomplish.

You left an important word — qualified outsider.

Even if they are not weather experts, they may provide some insight to the scientific methods used.

Repeat after me — "Weather is not climate; climate is not weather."

Science vs. Government (3, Insightful)

Pete Venkman (1659965) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297260)

The main problem with this issue is that science and government operate very differently. When are people going to realize that governmental panels on climate change will not work as science.

Can't imagine what they hope to achieve (3, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297272)

The report is going to conclude that a bunch of minor errors were made, and does not alter the fundamental conclusions. This is what has been said all along.

The climate change deniers, who believe it's all part of a massive conspiracy against them, will simply see that as more evidence of the conspiracy. They did not understand the science in the first place, which is why they were able to seize on small errors and blow them out of proportion.

I suppose it's intended to demonstrate integrity, to develop another report confirming that the errors did indeed exist (and possibly even uncover others). They should even go in with the full intent of finding serious errors, should they exist. But failing to find those errors will not convince anybody who needs convincing. Nor can I imagine what would.

Re:Can't imagine what they hope to achieve (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297354)

The report is going to conclude that a bunch of minor errors were made, and does not alter the fundamental conclusions. This is what has been said all along.

The climate change deniers, who believe it's all part of a massive conspiracy against them, will simply see that as more evidence of the conspiracy.

You're stating the conclusion in advance of the investigation and you don't see how that's evidence of, if not conspiracy, something very wrong?

Re:Can't imagine what they hope to achieve (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297516)

I am stating a prediction. An informed guess, based on the fact that the report has been closely scrutinized and no significant errors were found yet, only simple ones. I am not on the investigating team and my prediction carries no weight with them.

I am also stating the observation that there is no conceivable way for this report to clear the project, since they will simply be regarded as part of the conspiracy if my prediction holds true. There is no way to disprove a conspiracy, so what is the point of the exercise?

Re:Can't imagine what they hope to achieve (3, Insightful)

JDmetro (1745882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297428)

They did not understand the science in the first place, which is why they were able to seize on small errors and blow them out of proportion.
The climate change supporters always say "they just don't understand the science" so then why don't the climate scientists explain things very nice and clearly instead of making wild claims and picking on the minors and ignoring the majors and all the while refusing to show anyone their raw data.
It is kind of like not showing your work in math class then whining that the teacher is unfair for accusing you of cheating. You can't prove you did any calculation right if you don't show your work.

Re:Can't imagine what they hope to achieve (1)

inthealpine (1337881) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297728)

As soon as I hear the term "climate change deniers", or the more common "climate deniers", I know I'm listening to a climate evangelist. The cultist mentality that is coming out of the climate evangelism movement is a huge turn off. I think if the money, power and politics was taken out of climate science it might get better response from masses. Before someone says that 'most' of the masses agree on climate change and it's just a few nut job right wing morons that don't understand science, but somehow at the same time are corporate fat cats with endless bank accounts pushing their addenda...wait...wait...Climate change has been losing steam with the masses for years now. More and more people realize that it is not the end of the world and that it has been cooling not warming in near history. Now if anyone would like to tell me how I'm ignorant, stupid, uninformed, right wing, red neck, republican, Rush Limbaugh, climate denier or whatever insult works best to satisfy you so that you needn't consider my point of view relevant and go on your marry way preaching how carbon is the devil and we will all burn one day for weak indulgences...I need to finish shoveling snow, have at it. **Oh, please point out any spelling or grammatical errors as well, that will show me! If I use the wrong their, there or they're that will definitely show me that I can't have an opinion on 'global-warming-climate-change'. Thanks.**

Re:Can't imagine what they hope to achieve (2, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297834)

Don't care about your race, class, political party, gender, sexual preference, or anything else aside from your ability to evaluate the facts.

I do care that if you're going to express an opinion on climate change that you have a source other than blogs, and enough science background to evaluate the claims.

There do exist climate change skeptics. I've met a few. They have a science background and grasp the complexities involved.

Those who deny it without the science background, believing it to be nothing more than a conspiracy, I term "deniers". Especially those who grasp at any straw, from "it's not happening" to "it's not our fault" to "it's OK", because their concern is less with the reality of the situation than with ensuring that nothing is done because those who want something done are bad people.

The former are very interesting. The latter are irrelevant.

Re:Can't imagine what they hope to achieve (1)

inthealpine (1337881) | more than 4 years ago | (#31298140)

I'd have to assume that those that agree with 'climate-change' and don't have a the appropriate science background are irrelevant as well? What you said can work with what I said IF and only IF one condition is met. If I as a non-scientist cannot have an opinion, then you cannot have my money. If that is agreed upon, problem solved.

Re:Can't imagine what they hope to achieve (2, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | more than 4 years ago | (#31298260)

I'd have to assume that those that agree with 'climate-change' and don't have a the appropriate science background are irrelevant as well?

In fact, yes.

If I as a non-scientist cannot have an opinion, then you cannot have my money.

As long as we are putting things into everybody's air, we are going to have to come to a conclusion. In a democracy, all those people get a vote, regardless of the fact that their opinions are ill-founded.

But if you want to actually win an argument, rather than an election, you need to be able to back up your opinion.

Re:Can't imagine what they hope to achieve (4, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#31298142)

The problem is that there is a massive conspiracy trying to use climate change as a lever to promote a social agenda. They have insinuated themselves into the process and have tainted some of the research.

There is also a loose gathering of industrialists trying to use the same thing as a bullet point to help separate you from your dollars. From the greenwashing of GE using their mouthpiece of every show on NBC, to the auto companies with their claims of 200+ mpg hybrids (which, of course, get a "small" portion of their motive energy out-of-band...), to the electric utilities with their "we need you to approve another rate hike because those windmills we haven't installed yet cost twice as much per kW as conventional fuels" plans.

There are a lot of thumbs leaning on the scales, and it's made it more challenging to separate the nuggets of truth from the nodules of crap that have been surreptitiously dumped into this "perfect storm" of conflicting interests.

2 big problems in that report (5, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297282)

The 2 big issues I've heard about that report are the citing of a non-peer reviewed source for the Himilaya glacier and an incorrectly phrased line about flooding in the Netherlands (propertly cited, just incorrectly stated)

Now those two mistakes should not be in a paper from such a highly regarded organization, but...

THE PAPER WAS OVER 3000 PAGES LONG.

If I were to write a 3000+ page paper and only had 2 significant mistakes in it, I would be freaking estatic! I mean really, we are humans, there are going to be mistakes in everything we do. That the IPCC has been so responsive in retracting the parts of the paper that have not stood up to review and that out of such a huge document so few mistakes have been reported, shouldn't we instead see this as a great work?

-Rick

Re:2 big problems in that report (0)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297336)

THE PAPER WAS OVER 3000 PAGES LONG.

The dramatization of the number of pages is mooted by the dramatization of the number of peer reviewers, which is "thousands of scientists"

Re:2 big problems in that report (2, Insightful)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297434)

Um, so those are the only two errors or just a couple that were really obvious? I think we both know the answer to that question.

Given that the entire thing is based on bad data (if it weren't it would have been released), I'm not even sure why we're still discussing this. It's a sham.

Re:2 big problems in that report (2, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297530)

When I find two major errors in such an important report that was supposedly written, edited, and reviewed by some of the top experts in the world - I wonder what other mistakes slipped by. Checking your writeup against your sources and verifying those sources is something even Wikipedia enforces.
 
I'm doubly suspicious when it takes the people derided as 'deniers' to find the errors, but the people who support the conclusions can't be bothered to take time out of their cheerleading to double check the document themselves. That smells of religion, not science.

Re:2 big problems in that report (1)

uassholes (1179143) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297532)

Two?

You're drinking the wrong Kool-Aid

Re:2 big problems in that report (3, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297766)

A little mistake is fine. Referencing a WWF report is not a little mistake. Arguing that "gray literature" is required to get an accurate picture basically blows your credibility.

Re:2 big problems in that report (1)

khayman80 (824400) | more than 4 years ago | (#31298182)

Working group 2 of the IPCC seems to have made some embarrassing mistakes. Upon seeing the letter [liberation.fr] in Science, I wondered why I'd never noticed these ludicrous statements before. Then I realized that the mistakes weren't in working group 1 report, which is all I'd ever bothered to read. Here's [www.ipcc.ch] what each working group does:

The IPCC Working Group I (WG I) assesses the physical scientific aspects of the climate system and climate change.

The main topics assessed by WG I include: changes in greenhouse gases and aerosols in the atmosphere; observed changes in air, land and ocean temperatures, rainfall, glaciers and ice sheets, oceans and sea level; historical and paleoclimatic perspective on climate change; biogeochemistry, carbon cycle, gases and aerosols; satellite data and other data; climate models; climate projections, causes and attribution of climate change.

The IPCC Working Group II (WG II) assesses the vulnerability of socio-economic and natural systems to climate change, negative and positive consequences of climate change, and options for adapting to it.

It also takes into consideration the inter-relationship between vulnerability, adaptation and sustainable development. The assessed information is considered by sectors (water resources; ecosystems; food & forests; coastal systems; industry; human health) and regions (Africa; Asia; Australia & New Zealand; Europe; Latin America; North America; Polar Regions; Small Islands).

The wild claim that "glaciers in the Himalaya are receding faster than in any other part of the world", the 2350/2035 typo, confusion of Himalayan glacier area with the worldwide total, and reliance on non-peer-reviewed source material all occurred in a single paragraph(!) in the WG2 report (section 10.6.2, paragraph 2).

Statements in the WG1 report regarding glaciers, on the other hand, accurately reflect conclusions in the peer-reviewed literature.

Due to my obsession with the physical sciences, I'd never even realized that other working group reports existed. Perhaps other scientists reacted in a similar fashion, which might be why such an absurd cluster of errors went undetected for so long...

Re:2 big problems in that report (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31298234)

It's funny seeing how the goal posts keep changing. Not long ago objections to parts of the report was labeled Woodo-Science by the ipcc-chief. Now there are 2 minor errors.

The assumption that developing countries near the Equator will be most negatively affected is based on error, as well as the assumption that climate-change has caused more extreme-weather. These are currently not admitted as actual errors, but when they do the AGW house of cards well really start to come down,

Premis Fail (1)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 4 years ago | (#31298350)

When your premis is false your entire argument is false no matter how long winded your argument is.

Claiming that 2 significant mistakes is no big deal is like claiming that if you built a bridge out of a million stones and only two in the base were severely damaged you'd be happy. The bridge collapsed. Why are you happy?

Crucial means CRUCIAL. (1)

Tsar (536185) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297334)

"Many scientists say that such material, ranging from reports by government agencies to respected research not published in scientific journals, is crucial to seeking a complete picture of the state of climate science."

If it's crucial, it should be peer-reviewed. If no one has time to peer-review the material, it shouldn't be part of the basis for multi-trillion-dollar policy decisions. How is that non-obvious?

Peer review vs. "gray literature" (1)

farlukar (225243) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297344)

Peer review indeed isn't a guarantee for proper science if easily-debunkable crap like this [arxiv.org] can get through peer review [worldscinet.com] .

Re:Peer review vs. "gray literature" (1)

Pax681 (1002592) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297688)

WOW.. stunningly good links my friend......

i have a friend who is a professor of physics at the University of Edinburgh who has helped me understand quantum and string theory to a better extent after watching a few programs on them and wanting to know more.(i am by far NOT a quantum physicist or string theorist but i can understand a little more in depth than i previously did as he explains things so well to the layman)

si i am gonna bookmark these and sync them to my N900 and show them to him and get him to explain more. because if this FUNDAMENTAL mechanism of global warming is shown to be a bunch of air blown the the anal regions it then follows that the theory it backs is also a load of hot anal air...

Re:Peer review vs. "gray literature" (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297786)

Sure, but it's a lot better than just believing anything somebody at the WWF decides to write.

Re:Peer review vs. "gray literature" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31298150)

If it's so easy then do a debunking of it and post it here so we can peer-review it.

Re:Peer review vs. "gray literature" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31298346)

arxiv is not peer reviewed. It's a preprint server.

Gray literature (1, Informative)

s-whs (959229) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297362)

One area to be examined is whether the panel should incorporate so-called gray literature, a term to describe nonpeer-reviewed science, in its reports. Many scientists say that such material, ranging from reports by government agencies to respected research not published in scientific journals,

The whole point of peer reviewed literature is that you can accept it as being probably well researched, having assumptions that are probably correct. If you want to include non-peer reviewed research you cannot scan the article, and especially not its conclusions, but you will have to check everything! So you start doing your own peer-reviewing turning them in peer-reviewed articles. If that's not done by someone qualified, having some non-peer reviewed 'respected research' included is dangerous in that it may contaminate good research with crappy stuff.

And if this 'respected research' is worth something, it's probably already used/cited in peer reviewed articles I would imagine.

In any event, the non-believers have a small success. From mistakes in a report (everyone makes mistakes), results a scan of more literature. Will that change anything? Almost certainly not. The uncertainties in climate models are known, but what's not in doubt (by real scientists) is that there is change (at least partially man-made) and besides the crackpots or people who just don't give a damn [ I remember an interview in a dutch TV programme ca. 2004 IIRC with someone senior in the US government who simply said: If other countries want to clean up the air, fine, we're not going to do it because it would hurt our economy ], this seems to serve no-one. I.e. it's more like politics.

Faux News headline translator (-1, Troll)

LockeOnLogic (723968) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297368)

I can already see how the other side is going to spin this:

"The UN creates special climate change audit to question the validity of global warming so-called experts!"

"UN global warming fact check panel to reassess climate change"

And when the panel comes back supporting the massive amount of good data, they will comb through the report and take lines out of context to attempt to discredit the panel.

"The UN is conspiring with a bunch of liberal elites to STEAL YOUR FREEDOM."

you're giving it too much creditibility (1)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297444)

although there is no scientific consensus to that effect.

It has nothing to do with "concensus", there's no belief that the Himalayas are going to melt in the next 25 years. It was a misquote by someone which ended up being quoted as fact through an obnoxious game of "telephone".

That tells you how much credibility to give to the rest of it.

Novel concept (1)

andoman2000 (1755610) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297448)

Wow an independent panel to investigate a independent panel that's a novel concept

Debate the Solution, not the Problem (2, Interesting)

dwguenther (1100987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297458)

It's good that another review has been announced in order to offset the political hype, but it's discouraging that there was political attacks on the science to begin with. As the article points out, the controversy has essentially been about a single wrong number in the IPCC report, which itself is a summary of over 10,000 peer-reviewed papers published over the last three or four decades. Criticism of this single error has only gained traction because of pointless repetition by critics who stand to make some profit over creating controversy.
The discussions and debate should be focused on policy, not on the science. We have already made our best effort at determining whether there is a problem. Now we need to determine what to do about it.

Re:Debate the Solution, not the Problem (3, Informative)

uassholes (1179143) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297854)

That is typical. In other words; "Don't argue with us; we are right. Case closed".

There were no political attacks on the science. There were political attacks on the politics. If you can't keep those two straight, then it's no wonder that you are an acolyte in the Church Of Global Warming.

Maybe this will help (http://www.ocregister.com/common/printer/view.php?db=ocregister&id=234092):

ClimateGate - This scandal began the latest round of revelations when thousands of leaked documents from Britain's East Anglia Climate Research Unit showed systematic suppression and discrediting of climate skeptics' views and discarding of temperature data, suggesting a bias for making the case for warming. Why do such a thing if, as global warming defenders contend, the "science is settled?"

FOIGate - The British government has since determined someone at East Anglia committed a crime by refusing to release global warming documents sought in 95 Freedom of Information Act requests. The CRU is one of three international agencies compiling global temperature data. If their stuff's so solid, why the secrecy?

ChinaGate - An investigation by the U.K.'s left-leaning Guardian newspaper found evidence that Chinese weather station measurements not only were seriously flawed, but couldn't be located. "Where exactly are 42 weather monitoring stations in remote parts of rural China?" the paper asked. The paper's investigation also couldn't find corroboration of what Chinese scientists turned over to American scientists, leaving unanswered, "how much of the warming seen in recent decades is due to the local effects of spreading cities, rather than global warming?" The Guardian contends that researchers covered up the missing data for years.

HimalayaGate - An Indian climate official admitted in January that, as lead author of the IPCC's Asian report, he intentionally exaggerated when claiming Himalayan glaciers would melt away by 2035 in order to prod governments into action. This fraudulent claim was not based on scientific research or peer-reviewed. Instead it was originally advanced by a researcher, since hired by a global warming research organization, who later admitted it was "speculation" lifted from a popular magazine. This political, not scientific, motivation at least got some researcher funded.

PachauriGate - Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC chairman who accepted with Al Gore the Nobel Prize for scaring people witless, at first defended the Himalaya melting scenario. Critics, he said, practiced "voodoo science." After the melting-scam perpetrator 'fessed up, Pachauri admitted to making a mistake. But, he insisted, we still should trust him.

PachauriGate II - Pachauri also claimed he didn't know before the 192-nation climate summit meeting in Copenhagen in December that the bogus Himalayan glacier claim was sheer speculation. But the London Times reported that a prominent science journalist said he had pointed out those errors in several e-mails and discussions to Pachauri, who "decided to overlook it." Stonewalling? Cover up? Pachauri says he was "preoccupied." Well, no sense spoiling the Copenhagen party, where countries like Pachauri's India hoped to wrench billions from countries like the United States to combat global warming's melting glaciers. Now there are calls for Pachauri's resignation.

SternGate - One excuse for imposing worldwide climate crackdown has been the U.K.'s 2006 Stern Report, an economic doomsday prediction commissioned by the government. Now the U.K. Telegraph reports that quietly after publication "some of these predictions had been watered down because the scientific evidence on which they were based could not be verified." Among original claims now deleted were that northwest Australia has had stronger typhoons in recent decades, and that southern Australia lost rainfall because of rising ocean temperatures. Exaggerated claims get headlines. Later, news reporters disclose the truth. Why is that?

SternGate II - A researcher now claims the Stern Report misquoted his work to suggest a firm link between global warming and more-frequent and severe floods and hurricanes. Robert Muir-Wood said his original research showed no such link. He accused Stern of "going far beyond what was an acceptable extrapolation of the evidence." We're shocked.

AmazonGate - The London Times exposed another shocker: the IPCC claim that global warming will wipe out rain forests was fraudulent, yet advanced as "peer-reveiwed" science. The Times said the assertion actually "was based on an unsubstantiated claim by green campaigners who had little scientific expertise," "authored by two green activists" and lifted from a report from the World Wildlife Fund, an environmental pressure group. The "research" was based on a popular science magazine report that didn't bother to assess rainfall. Instead, it looked at the impact of logging and burning. The original report suggested "up to 40 percent" of Brazilian rain forest was extremely sensitive to small reductions in the amount of rainfall, but the IPCC expanded that to cover the entire Amazon, the Times reported.

PeerReviewGate - The U.K. Sunday Telegraph has documented at least 16 nonpeer-reviewed reports (so far) from the advocacy group World Wildlife Fund that were used in the IPCC's climate change bible, which calls for capping manmade greenhouse gases.

RussiaGate - Even when global warming alarmists base claims on scientific measurements, they've often had their finger on the scale. Russian think tank investigators evaluated thousands of documents and e-mails leaked from the East Anglia research center and concluded readings from the coldest regions of their nation had been omitted, driving average temperatures up about half a degree.

Russia-Gate II - Speaking of Russia, a presentation last October to the Geological Society of America showed how tree-ring data from Russia indicated cooling after 1961, but was deceptively truncated and only artfully discussed in IPCC publications. Well, at least the tree-ring data made it into the IPCC report, albeit disguised and misrepresented.

U.S.Gate - If Brits can't be trusted, are Yanks more reliable? The U.S. National Climate Data Center has been manipulating weather data too, say computer expert E. Michael Smith and meteorologist Joesph D'Aleo. Forty years ago there were 6,000 surface-temperature measuring stations, but only 1,500 by 1990, which coincides with what global warming alarmists say was a record temperature increase. Most of the deleted stations were in colder regions, just as in the Russian case, resulting in misleading higher average temperatures.

IceGate - Hardly a continent has escaped global warming skewing. The IPCC based its findings of reductions in mountain ice in the Andes, Alps and in Africa on a feature story of climbers' anecdotes in a popular mountaineering magazine, and a dissertation by a Switzerland university student, quoting mountain guides. Peer-reviewed? Hype? Worse?

ResearchGate - The global warming camp is reeling so much lately it must have seemed like a major victory when a Penn State University inquiry into climate scientist Michael Mann found no misconduct regarding three accusations of climate research impropriety. But the university did find "further investigation is warranted" to determine whether Mann engaged in actions that "seriously deviated from accepted practices for proposing, conducting or reporting research or other scholarly activities." Being investigated for only one fraud is a global warming victory these days.

ReefGate - Let's not forget the alleged link between climate change and coral reef degradation. The IPCC cited not peer-reviewed literature, but advocacy articles by Greenpeace, the publicity-hungry advocacy group, as its sole source for this claim.

AfricaGate - The IPCC claim that rising temperatures could cut in half agricultural yields in African countries turns out to have come from a 2003 paper published by a Canadian environmental think tank - not a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

DutchGate - The IPCC also claimed rising sea levels endanger the 55 percent of the Netherlands it says is below sea level. The portion of the Netherlands below sea level actually is 20 percent. The Dutch environment minister said she will no longer tolerate climate researchers' errors.

AlaskaGate - Geologists for Space Studies in Geophysics and Oceanography and their U.S. and Canadian colleagues say previous studies largely overestimated by 40 percent Alaskan glacier loss for 40 years. This flawed data are fed into those computers to predict future warming.

Re:Debate the Solution, not the Problem (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31297952)

Last winter we had 2 inch of snow, this we had 20. that means we'll have 200 inches of snow the next winter and 2000 after that. This is clearly a true and well determined problem, we can't afford to wait until next winter before we implement a multi billion$ anti-snow policy. We also should not waste any more money on any further studies of the predicted snow depth because I already have a consensus that it's a real problem.

If you disagree with me you don't understand the science or hold stock in snow-removal services. And those are the only possibilities, there's no one that cares about truth anymore, there's only monetarily motivated people and stupid people in this world.

As Independent as Philip Campbell? (3, Informative)

Iyonesco (1482555) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297640)

Philip Campbell was one of the "scientists" selected to join the "independent" review panel for the UEA leaks. He later had to step down when it was revealed that he had already made up his mind before any review:

http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/science_technology/aposclimategateapos+review+member+resigns/3536642 [channel4.com]

I'm sure he was replaced by somebody equally independent and impartial and that we can expect the same level of impartiality from the UN's review of the IPCC. This is nothing but a waste of taxpayer's money.

Wrong response (1, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297750)

There should be no panel to investigate stuff, as there was nothing wrong with the report that covers the physical science and there were only a small number of minor mistakes in WG3's document (that is not about the science basis for AGW).

Setting up a panel is exactly the wrong response, because it lends credibility to the whackjobs. What the scientific community needs is better PR and stating that essentially those who think AGW is not happening are gullible, misguided people, whackjobs and paid ex-tobacco lobbyists.

Re:Wrong response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31297846)

I totally agree.

All science should be conducted according to this method. Tobacco would still be good for your health, the earth would be in the center of the universe and god would be watching over us to make sure we live happily and get into heaven. Everything would be so much better, you've reestablished my faith in mankind!

Change the name of the panel (2, Interesting)

benjto (1175995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31297918)

IPCC = Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The climate has been changing for hundreds of thousands of years. But to me the name suggests there is some kind of unprecedented change to the climate that we are now tasked to study. Doesn't that prejudice the findings? What if (just a hypothesis) the data shows that the climate is not going through any kind of change that is out of line with historical patterns of change. The conclusion would be that the current dynamics of that climate to not represent a "macro" change in the climates behavior.

Why not name the panel the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Monitoring? Let the data suggest the conclusion, not the panel name.

I am for this if... (1)

Gonoff (88518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31298320)

This panel needs to take in all information that has not been tainted by any of the following.
  • experts in other fields (economics, law, journalism etc)
  • Big business (banks, oil companies etc)
  • Politicians (left, liberal or right wing)
  • Paid pressure groups and individuals.
  • The seriously ignorant who have irrelevant axes to grind
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