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June 08, 2005

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Ted Barlow

The editor in question was a former lobbyist for the American Petroleum Institute, the largest petroleum trade group; his job used to be fighting against greenhouse gas restrictions. Now, he's been put into a position to directly edit the government's reports on the subject, which is handy. He's a lawyer by training and a lobbyist by profession. He has no more business editing the work of scientists than Jerry Seinfeld does. It's part of a bigger pattern of editing and deleting information that doesn't help the Bush Administration's case.

Sorry, Tom, this stinks. It's an abuse of power, and it's not good enough to insinuate that Clinton did it too, according to global warming skeptics.

SaveFarris

Sorry Ted, but it's pretty hard to feign outrage that the administration that "was bought and paid for by Halliburton and Big Oil" would install someone pre-disposed to siding with the petroleum industry. It was covered quite extensively during the campaign, as I recall.

But hey, maybe there's room for compromise. I'd say he has no more business editing the work of scientists than Paul Krugman does writing columns on politics.

Forbes

Yes, Ted, and if government officials didn't have histories of prior employment, they'd be perfect employees. Perfectly good at nothing. God forbid someone should be an evil, trained attorney to boot. Somehow when the left is out of the White House, they seem to think they still "own" the government bureaucracy. In fact to most people, the editor in question is far more qualified to edit government reports than Jerry Seinfeld is, and that's a no brainer.

Unfortunately for the left, anything they disagree with is an abuse of power--just listen to the rantings of Harry Reid, John Kerry, Howard Dean, or Hillary Clinton during the past 72 hours.

Gee, if it stinks that a scientific hypothesis recives a healthy dose of skepicism, all I can say is: grow up.

And I don't think anyone--especially TM--is insinuating that Clinton did the same, it's pretty clear Clinton did do the same. In fact Clinton/Gore signed up to Kyoto, without the slightest intention to submit it for ratification--and signed it in the face of a 98-0 vote objecting to the Treaty. It's called politics. Win an election, and you can be in charge of the federal bureaucrcy.

Tim Lambert

So a global warming skeptic criticizes the tone of an early draft of a scientific report written by scientists. Strangely enough, this does not prove that the Clinton administration interfered with the report. Care to try again?

The Kid

Tim –

I don’t think we can assemble enough evidence to convince you simply because environmentalism in general and global warming in particular have become religious phenomena, which makes unbelievers heretics – untouchables to be treated as a curiosity by some, as the enemy by others.

Over at Junkscience today (June 8, 2005) Steve Milloy addresses the politics of who pays for the research:

Here's a tip on how not to approach such discussion: claims that 'contrarians' are paid agents of big something-or-other while enhanced greenhouse advocates act out of pure altruism just don't cut it - to begin with this telegraphs that you know nothing of academia and publish-or-die pressures and secondly paints you as extremely naive believing researchers don't frame their grant applications and results in an effort to grab some of the billions of dollars annually hosed over shrill claims of looming climate disaster (see, for example, livestock researchers trying to develop vaccines to increase the feed conversion efficiency of ruminants applying for global warming mitigation research funds on the grounds of reducing livestock methane emissions (despite the rate of atmospheric methane increase having fallen below zero).
Elsewhere today he makes reference to the politics of the IPCC’s 2001 report: the fanciful “Summary for Policymakers" makes outrageous claims not supported by the IPCC Third Assessment Report itself. Milloy summarizes quite nicely the basis for his skepticism as follows:
We think we can figure out the global mean temperature to within a range of about 1.5 °C (about 2.5 °F)
We think Earth may have warmed between one-third and one-half that range over the last century or so
We think there might be a recent warming trend in near-surface measures but don't know if that's purely an artifact of sampling in and around cities and urban environs
Neither balloon-sonde nor satellite-mounted MSU measures of the lower troposphere indicate alarming warming
Our ability to model the complex, chaotic, coupled, non-linear system we call the atmosphere is in its infancy and our understanding of climate woefully insufficient to make predictions. Of 9 broad inputs the IPCC classifies our level of scientific understanding as "Very Low" for 5 of them, incredibly including solar and land use (albedo) [don't take my word for it, see table 6.12 of the Third Assessment Report]. You'd expect, given Sol is the source of planetary warmth, that very low understanding of Sol's role in driving the planet's climate, coupled with equally poor understanding of albedo (that is how much solar radiation is reflected and how much actually absorbed by the planet), would give people pause before pontificating on climatic trends - at least I so expect.
Climate change is inevitable, that's what it does.
We should hope that said inevitable change is for the warmer - cold is very hard on humanity and the biosphere.

Bush is entirely reasonable in waiting, looking for more evidence, finding the best way to apply finite resources. There are non-partisan groups that agree with him. I suggest you take a look at the process, composition, and findings of the Copenhagen Consensus, an ad hoc committee that boldly went where no one has before by answering the question “What is the very best way for rich nations to spend their money to save the most lives in the shortest period of time?” Here’s their answer, and you’ll not that anything having to do with global warming / climate change doesn’t even make the top ten.

ed

Hmmm.

What I find odd is that the majority of liberals live along the coastlines. Should I take a tree-hugger seriously when she owns a beachfront house?

Harry Arthur

Remember ed, the difference between a concerned environmentalist and a greedy rapacious industrialist fascist republican christian right wing nut is that the concerned environmentalist already owns a house in the woods.

TK, you've connected the dots well. Might I recommend "the skeptical environmentalist Measuring the Real State of the World" by Bjorn Lomborg, a self-described "old left-wing Greenpeace member" and Associate Professor of Statistics at the Univ of Aarhus, Denmark? Professor Lomborg provides more than 150 pages of bibliography (some 2000 footnotes) to document that things are nowhere near as bad as some would have us believe. He addresses bad news, air polution, water polution, forests, waste and global warming and whether they are getting better or worse and the significance of the impact in an honest and straightforward analysis of the facts. Very illuminating.

Tim Lambert

So you trot out the claim that the IPCC summary for policy makers was not supported by the body of the report. The trouble with your claim is that the National Academy of Sciences put together a panel of top scientists (including skeptic Lindzen) to see if your claim was true. They concluded

After analysis, the committee finds that the conclusions presented in the SPM and the Technical Summary (TS) are consistent with the main body of the report.

As for Milloy's collection of misleading and outright dishonest claims, I suggest a nice game of Global Warming Skeptic Bingo

Cecil Turner

"Strangely enough, this does not prove that the Clinton administration interfered with the report. Care to try again?"

Is the burden to show interference, or merely politially convenient bias? I'd suggest it's the latter. I'd also note Mr Piltz himself was accused of precisely the same sin (from the opposite side) during the Clinton Administration:

Both of these models are well known to make predictions much higher than current generation models, and are widely considered by climate scientists not only out-of-date but misleadingly high in their temperature projections. When asked about the choice of such model projections, project coordinator Rick Piltz of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy answered that there was "a time-lag between the climate science and the ecological and economic analyses." [emphasis added]
There's a follow-up article in today's Times (with little new information). BTW Tim, I can't get either of your two links above to load, so am missing half the argument.

The Kid

Harry – thanks. I should have noted that Bjorn was the inspiration and leading light for the Copenhagen Consensus.

Tim -
Speaking of “misleading and outright dishonest claims,” your reference that “the committee finds that the conclusions presented in the SPM and the Technical Summary (TS) are consistent with the main body of the report” is incomplete and, er, misleading.

“This characterization is extremely common, yet it itself distorts the findings of the IPCC and National Academy to introduce an unwarranted level of certainty into the debate. To assess why, it is worth quoting at length the renowned climatologist Richard Lindzen of MIT, one of the lead authors of both the IPCC study and the National Academies review. Writing in Canada's Hill Times on February 23, [2004] he said:

it is quite wrong to say that our NAS study endorsed the credibility of the IPCC assessment report. We were asked to evaluate the IPCC "Summary for Policymakers" (SPM), the only part of the IPCC reports that is ever read or quoted by the media and politicians. The SPM, which is seen as endorsing Kyoto, is commonly presented as the consensus of thousands of the world's foremost climate scientists. In fact, it is no such thing. Largely for that reason, the NAS panel concluded that the SPM does not provide suitable guidance for the U.S. government.

The full IPCC report, most of which is written by scientists about specific scientific topics in their areas of expertise, is an admirable description of research activities in climate science. It is not, however, directed at policy. The SPM is, of course, but it is also a very different document. It represents a consensus of government representatives, rather than of scientists. As a consequence, the SPM has a strong tendency to disguise uncertainty, and conjures up some scary scenarios for which there is no evidence.

Similarly, in the case of our NAS report, far too much attention was paid to the hastily prepared summary rather than to the body of the report. The summary claimed that greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth's atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise. Yet, the full text noted that 20 years was too short a period for estimating long term trends, a crucial point that the summary neglected to mention. Our primary conclusion was that despite some knowledge and agreement, the science is by no means settled.

Do we ruin the world economy by radically scaling back emissions to save a degree or two a century hence, or do we continue research, invest in known technologies that emit less CO2 (nuclear) but maintain our standard of living, and assist the innocent in the dark places of the world by providing retroviral drugs, food, nutritional supplements, clean water, and other life-saving measures? Kyoto represents a huge opportunity cost unless one really wants to dramatically and quickly reduce the world’s population and standard of living.
I for one do not see how trading in my vehicle for a bicycle made of hemp will help anyone, but that’s what implementing Kyoto will take. I know it will please the radical envros, but their position is irrational and emotional, that is, religious. That folks who believe that a butterfly, flapping its wings in one part of the world, could affect the weather on the other side of the globe are also be big boosters of condor Cuisinarts boggles this mind - windmills cause a heck of a lot more turbulence than even three herds of monarchs, no?

I’m no Don Quixote, but, like the current administration, I do recognize that the tradeoffs required by Kyoto will not only inconvenience some, but will kill many.

Neo

A post from Capt. Ed titled "The Modern Scientific Method: Cheating" link to a Minneapolis Star-Tribune report of a poll which outlines how one in three U.S. scientists admitted in an anonymous survey that they committed scientific misconduct in the previous three years. The findings suggest that U.S. scientists engage in a range of behaviors extending far beyond falsification, fabrication and plagiarism that can damage the integrity of science.

It leaves one to wonder if the reports in question in this post were correct before or after the modifications were made by the Administration officials.

TM

I will stand by my (banal) pont that, as long as we live in a world with limits on research budgets, publication venues, and opportunities for public recognition, science will be "politicized".

But let me also join in on the push-back on the IPCC. I think Maureen Dowd may have gotten ahold of Tim's excerpt. This link seems to work, and presents a more complete (and dare we say, "different"?) story:

After analysis, the committee finds that the conclusions presented in the SPM and the Technical Summary (TS) are consistent with the main body of the report. There are, however, differences. The primary differences reflect the manner in which uncertainties are communicated in the SPM. The SPM frequently uses terms (e.g. likely, very likely, unlikely) that convey levels of uncertainty; however, the text less frequently includes either their basis or caveats. This difference is perhaps understandable in terms of a process in which the SPM attempts to underline the major areas of concern associated with a human-induced climate change. However, a thorough understanding of the uncertainties is essential to the development of good policy decisions.

Since the Evil Bush Adie is being hammered for the sin of inserting caveats, I think the context for Tim's excerpt is helpful.

And CT, I *heart* the Pilt background.

Creech

Why is the possibility of global warming, far in the future, so demanding of immediate correction involving a roll-back of human activity which will severely impact many, if not most, humans BUT the mathematical certainty of a bankrupt Social Security system, if not reformed, something we can put off, study, and let our grandchildren worry about?

Re Warming: what percentage of warming is due to solar activity and thus not subject to change by humankind
(given current technology)? Then what percentage of the remaining warming could feasibly be reduced by a roll-back in energy consumption? I maintain that if the controllable portion is 1/2 degree or less, then
let the oceans rise. It will be a little warmer here up North and we'll save a ton of fuel in lower heating bills, and less snow bird migration!

ed

Hmmmm.

Maybe the liberals are all worried that their beachfront houses will all wash away? If the seas rise 15 feet that'll mean Arkansas will become a Gulf state. In fact all of the blue states will be under water.

Funny, and curious.

The Kid

TM -

This summary of the week 9/28-10/4/1997 puts Pilz closer to the center of Clinton power.

As Washington gears up for the White House conference on global warming, one of our sources notes that a key piece of evidence prepared for Congress is not only full of unreliable computer climate projections but full of OLD unreliable computer climate projections. The publication Our Changing Planet: The FY 1998 Global Change Research Program is a 118-page, glossy, full-color report, prepared under the leadership of White House Science Coordinator Michael MacCracken and editor Rick Piltz. It makes much of the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory computer model and the United Kingdom Meteorological Office computer model, which project respectively an average increase in global temperature of 4.3 degrees celsius (7.7 degrees F) and 6.7 degrees celsius (12 degrees F) for a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere. Both of these models are out of date. When asked why these models and their "high-end" projections were used in this report to Congress, editor Piltz shrugged it off as the "inevitable lag time" between the science and the impact analyses. But this "lag time" isn't being revealed to Congress, nor apparently to the public. In fact, Our Changing Planet is a big part of the Clinton Administration's public relations campaign to convince Americans of a global warming catastrophe that has yet to manifest itself. It is the centerpiece of 18 regional workshops.
According to this, while working for the US House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology during the summer of 1994, Piltz
offered an overview of the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). He provided a brief comparison of the program under the [GHW] Bush and the Clinton administrations. Though he praised the reforms of the latter, he identified persistent unmet needs in the overall research agenda. Calling for that agenda to feed ongoing policy, Piltz proposed a series of priorities for scientists as well as decisionmakers.

Something must have happened later in 1994 to cause him to change jobs, no?

TM

I have been modifying my UPDATES, but on the off-chance the Kid is not kidding - my (obvious) guess is that, after the Rep takeover in Nov 1994, Piltz lost his spot as a Congressional staffer and found a friendlier home in the bureaucracy.

None of which makes him a bad person, or wrong about global warming, obviously.

But one wonders why that part of his background is shielded.

geographer

The primary critic of the 2000 report, Dr. John Christy, is not exactly a world reknowned expert on climate, as his academic position (Univ Alabama-Huntsville) should clue you to. Google him and you will see only 4 out of 20 something of his publications are in recognized climatology journals. And his pubs in Science and Nature are for the most part reactive to other research, not publishing original work.

The Cooler Heads Coalition is an energy company front organization, part of globalwarming.org, which is funded by Exxon-Mobil, among others.

TM

Just one of the reasons I included several critics.

The Kid

TM -
I was of course referring to the Republican takeover later that year.

BTW, it looks like everybody but the bloggers is on the gravy train, funded by one side or the other. Do you have an angle on any of this? Even a discount card for gas would be nice, no?

So far it looks like you have to pay your own way, sort of a royal dutch treat.

Urinated State of America

"The primary critic of the 2000 report, Dr. John Christy, is not exactly a world reknowned expert on climate, as his academic position (Univ Alabama-Huntsville) should clue you to."

Y'know, despite the fact that Christy (and Lindzen) are about the sole real actual practicing climatologists (as opposed to heliophysicists/botanists/hack economists/whatever) that GW skeptics can hang their hat on, this is unfair to Christy. His work on using satellite measurements of temperatures, while it had its errors, still led to a productive line of inquiry and was pioneering. There's a reason why he (and Lindzen) were on the IPCC panels.

Speaking of which, what's the state of play on the Fu vs. Christy debate on troposphere/stratosphere warming/cooling?

TM

The NRO joins in (guess which side?)

I asked Pat Michaels, Cato Institute senior fellow and contributing author and reviewer to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, why this was such big news? Michaels, whose work has demonstrated the weakness of models used to simulate climate change, had the following reaction:
To act like there is this big horror show that the Bush Administration wanted to point out the uncertainties in global climate models is baffling. Is there gambling going on in Las Vegas too? I’m shocked, shocked that an administration would try to impose its synthesis of a complicated issue on that issue, rather than merely letting all the conflicting interests synthesize it for them.
The Kid

geographer –

How clever! Making fun of the South, Alabama in particular, is brilliant. How original!

But, there’s more to this than simple geography. Huntsville, Huntsville – what is that sleepy town known for? It calls itself the “Space Capital of America,” undoubtedly because there’s lots of “space” to plant double-wides, no?

No. Have you ever heard of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, a key contributor to numerous significant NASA programs during the Agency's 45-plus-year history -- from the 1961 flight of the first U.S. astronaut into space, to the Apollo missions exploring the Moon, to development and operation of America's Space Shuttle fleet, and construction of and scientific discovery aboard the International Space Station? It’s in Huntsville. Huntsville, Alabama.

As for Dr. Christy, you could go to the NASA Marshall site and search for his name – you’ll get over fifty hits, so the guy’s been quite busy there. On this site I found that Dr. Christy and his partner’s team were awarded NASA's Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement in 1991 and just last month they were presented the American Meteorological Society's 1996 Special Award for fundamentally advancing our ability to monitor climate. Here’s his webpage, but be careful! It looks like he’s a Christian. He’s white too. But in his spare time – when he’s not handling snakes or casting out demons – he’s found time to serve as a Contributor (1992, 1994 and 1996) and Lead Author (2001) for the U.N. reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in which the satellite temperatures were included as a high-quality data set for studying global climate change. Heck, you’re probably right – they just asked him to serve just to get a couple of laughs.

Next time, ask someone how to “search the Web.” There’s something called “google” that will allow you to, er, look before you leap.

Tim Lambert

TM, you should not say that the longer extract from the NAS panel presents a different story because it doesn't. TK claimed that the summary makes "outrageous claims not supported by the IPCC Third Assessment Report itself". It is in fact TK who has made an outrageous claim not supported by the report. He has further compounded this by posting this from Lindzen:

Similarly, in the case of our NAS report, far too much attention was paid to the hastily prepared summary rather than to the body of the report. The summary claimed that greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth's atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise. Yet, the full text noted that 20 years was too short a period for estimating long term trends, a crucial point that the summary neglected to mention.

Trouble is, if you read the full text of the NAS report you will find something very different:

Although warming at Earth's surface has been quite pronounced during the past few decades, satellite measurements beginning in 1979 indicate relatively little warming of air temperature in the troposphere. The committee concurs with the findings of a recent National Research Council report, which concluded that the observed difference between surface and tropospheric temperature trends during the past 20 years is probably real, as well as its cautionary statement to the effect that temperature trends based on such short periods of record, with arbitrary start and end points, are not necessarily indicative of the long-term behavior of the climate system.

Global warming skeptics have been pointing at the satellite data and arguing that it shows that there is no warming going on. The NAS panel points out that 20 years of satellite data is probably not enough to judge long term trends, so it should be treated with caution. Lindzen then pretends that the caution about the satellite data was meant to apply to the panel's statement that greenhouse gases were causing global warming. It clearly was not meant to apply to that statement and it doesn't even make sense if you try to apply it to that statement, since surface temperature data goes back at least one hundred years.

So Lindzen is being miseading or dishonest.

geographer

How clever! Making fun of the South, Alabama in particular, is brilliant. How original!

I don't recall making fun of anyone's location. Nor was I aware that Dr. Christy was a "Christian" or "white". Neither fact is relevant to my criticism. Nor would it matter if he might be left handed, heterosexual, have blue eyes or on occasion drink wine. Though I do find it odd that you think that he needed to be defended for these irrelevancies.

I was questioning whether Dr. Christy's work has any credibility in the climatology world.

I'm fully aware that Huntsville is heavy with space technology types. I have been there. It's a lovely town. I met Dr. Von Braun and 'Shorty' Powers, (The Voice Of Mercury Control) there while in junior high, thanks to a scholastic contest I had won.

And I'm sure that Univ Alabama-Huntsville has its strong departments. Atmospheric Sciences is not one of them. And Hunstville and Univ Alabama-Huntsville are not heavy with atmospheric scientists.

Googling the Earth Science Center where Dr. Christy holds a STAFF position, shows that the center only has 5 tenured faculty. Only one of those faculty members holds a full professorship. This indicates that it to me that this is not a particularly strong or valued department at the university.

His publications are also principly in the field of satellite metrics. He is not a theoretical climatologist nor has he published any papers in paleoclimatology, both of which would be a better background from which to be making the intellectual claims he is making.

I am a returning adult grad student in geography, interested in man/environmental interaction. I study at one of the places in the US with substantial credibility in the atmospheric sciences.

Penn State is the first university that comes up if you google atmospheric sciences. If Dr. Christy were here or at Texas A&M, or Colorado, or Univ of Miami, or Ohio St, or at the Univ of Manchester or Oxford Univ in Britain, his credentials would carry more weight because of the depth of research done at these institution in the atmospheric sciences.

Univ Alabama-Huntsville doesn't even appear on the list of atmospheric science programs from the American Meteorology Society.

His posting is especially relevant to his credibility because he is taking a view diametrically opposed to the field in general.


And, Kiddo, next time, before you should presume to tell me how to Google, you might actually read what you cut and paste in your posts. The award from NASA, which you say Dr Christy received "just last month", was actually presented in 1996. Just about the time his last climate articles appeared in any of the leading climate journals.


Cecil Turner

"Trouble is, if you read the full text of the NAS report you will find something very different:"

Juxtaposing the two statements, I see little difference:

Yet, the full text noted that 20 years was too short a period for estimating long term trends, a crucial point that the summary neglected to mention.
versus
[The committee concurs] . . . that temperature trends based on such short periods of record, with arbitrary start and end points, are not necessarily indicative . . .
"Global warming skeptics have been pointing at the satellite data and arguing that it shows that there is no warming going on. The NAS panel points out that 20 years of satellite data is probably not enough to judge long term trends . . ."

It looks to me like that "temperature trends based on such short periods" does not refer to satellite data alone, but to the statement about "observed difference between surface and tropospheric temperature trends." That seems to be a rather critical point, since if the "observed difference" isn't real, treatment of one set of measurements is off (and it's fairly obvious which set Lindzen would point to). That may represent a difference of opinion, but it doesn't, AFAICT, indicate he's "miseading or dishonest." I'd also note there's a regrettable tendency to ad hominem in this debate (and that there are lobbyists and political scientists on both sides). Especially after the shameful treatment of Lomborg, I find that a particularly unpersuasive line of reasoning.

TexasToast

YOU should be reading Fafblog! :)

"The usual leftist quarters are fired up again, calling for America to join a veritable science jihad, worshiping at the altar of fact when we've yet to hear what fiction has to say about the situation."

"One can't be too careful when deliberating over the shifting and byzantine web of confusion and doubt that is so-called 'climate' 'change.' Whom should we believe: the unruly mob of every reputable climatologist on the planet, or the selfless sages at Exxon-Mobil? Uncertainty abounds, even among higher beings like the Medium Lobster. We must examine all sides of the issue, take input from all corners: from the side of science, and from the side of oil industry whores paid to lie about science. Someday, somehow, between these complex and opposing points of view, we may just find an answer."

Cecil Turner

At least he's funny. It's also funny how little things have changed since that 1997 STATS article (linked above) complained about the tone of the debate:

Increasingly, rather than the cogency of one's argument, the number of publications, prestige of appointment held, political leanings, and especially, funding sources, become the chits in the battle of legitimacy.
And since we're pinging on Christy and Lindzen, I'd also note that the initial "reputable climatologist" response to the satellite data was that it must be wrong . . . now it's an "observed difference" from the surface data.

Tim Lambert

Cecil, here again is what Lindzen wrote:


The summary claimed that greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth's atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise. Yet, the full text noted that 20 years was too short a period for estimating long term trends, a crucial point that the summary neglected to mention.

The measurements for surface air temperatures go back over a hundred years, but Lindzen is implying that the report said they were only 20 years long. I can't see how this is anything other than wilful misrepresentation.

And if you've just been reading the global warming skeptics you might be unaware that the satellite data now shows significant warming, as much as the surface record in some analyses.

Cecil Turner

"The measurements for surface air temperatures go back over a hundred years, but Lindzen is implying that the report said they were only 20 years long. I can't see how this is anything other than wilful misrepresentation."

The problem is that there's an apparent discrepancy between the surface air temperatures and the satellite data (which only covered 20 years). My take on his statement is that he's implying we don't fully understand the phenomenon, or are working with flawed models. (Both of which are points he's made elsewhere--and to some degree, must be correct.)

"And if you've just been reading the global warming skeptics you might be unaware that the satellite data now shows significant warming, as much as the surface record in some analyses."

I'm aware of that (and the earlier link glitch resolved itself as well). But the dataset differences are still an indicator of uncertainty, especially concerning the models. What there seems to be little uncertainty about is that there is global warming, and there is some human influence--the magnitude is the issue. Unfortunately, there's also little doubt that Kyoto won't have much of an effect on the problem (which helps explain why the arguments center on policy).

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