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Recent Climate Observations Compared to Projections

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  • Sonya
    Recent Climate Observations Compared to Projections Stefan Rahmstorf et al. Science, (2007)
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 11, 2007
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      Recent Climate Observations Compared to Projections
      Stefan Rahmstorf et al. 
      "We present recent observed climate 
      trends for carbon dioxide concentration, global-mean air temperature and sea 
      level, and we compare these trends to previous model projections as summarised 
      in the 2001 assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 
      The IPCC scenarios and projections start in the year 1990, which is also the 
      base year of the Kyoto protocol in which almost all industrialised nations have 
      committed to binding reductions of their greenhouse gas emissions. The data 
      available for the period since 1990 raise concerns that the climate system, in 
      particular sea level, may be responding more quickly to climate change than our 
      current generation of models indicates. "
      Blatant Cherry Picking By Stefan Rahmstorf And Colleagues In 
      Science Magazine
      There is an article today in Science Express by Stefan Rahmstorf, Anny 
      Cazenave, John A. Church, James E. Hansen, Ralph F. Keeling, David E. 
      Parker,Richard C. Somerville entitled “Recent Climate Observations Compared to 
      Projections” which is remarkably blatant about its cherry picking of papers to 
      support their view and in ignoring peer reviewed papers that do not.
      They make statements such as 
      “The global mean surface temperature increase (land and ocean combined) in 
      both the NASA GISS data set and the Hadley Centre / Climatic Research Unit data 
      set is 0.33 ºC for the 16 years since 1990, which is in the upper part of the 
      range projected by the IPCC. Given the relatively short 16- year time period 
      considered, it will be difficult to establish the reasons for this relatively 
      rapid warming, although there are only a few likely possibilities. The first 
      candidate reason candidate is climate forcings other than CO2: While the 
      concentration of other greenhouse gases has risen more slowly than assumed in 
      the IPCC scenarios, a smaller aerosol cooling than expected is a possible cause 
      of the extra warming. A third candidate is an underestimation of the climate 
      sensitivity to CO2 (i.e., model error).”
      This set of reasoning has conveniently ignored the conclusions of the 
      following peer reviewed papers which document a warm bias in existing global 
      surface land air temperature trend assessments; i.e.
      Pielke Sr., R.A., and T. Matsui, 2005: Should light 
      wind and windy nights have the same temperature trends at individual levels even 
      if the boundary layer averaged heat content change is the same? Geophys. 
      Res. Letts., 32,
      No. 21, L21813, 10.1029/2005GL024407. [and 
      as summarized on Climate Science in January 2006]
      Hale, R.C., K.P. Gallo, T.W. Owen, and T.R. Loveland, Land 
      use/land cover change effects ontemperature trends at U.S. Climate Normals 
      Stations, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, doi:10.1029/2006GL026358, 2006 
      which were available to the authors of the Science Express paper. Our new 
      Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, D. Niyogi, K. Hubbard, X. Lin, M. Cai, Y.-K. Lim, 
      H. Li, J. Nielsen-Gammon, K. Gallo, R. Hale, J. Angel, R. Mahmood, S. Foster, J. 
      Steinweg-Woods, R. Boyles , S. Fall, R.T. McNider, and P. Blanken, 2007: Unresolved 
      issues with the assessment of multi-decadal global land surface temperature 
      trends. J. Geophys. Res. accepted.
      summarizes these issue, and adds significant new problems with the use of 
      land surface air temperature trends as part of the construction of a global 
      average surface temperature trend as used by Rahmstorf and colleagues.
      Thus the reported “warming” reported from the Hadley Centre / Climatic 
      Research Unit data has a warm bias of a significant value (certainly tenths of a 
      degess) in its construction. 
      Even more egregious was their selection of the 
      Willis, J.K., D. Roemmich, and B. Cornuelle, 2004: Interannual variability in 
      upper ocean heat content, temperature, and thermosteric expansion on global 
      scales. J. Geophys. Res., 109, C12036, doi: 10.1029/2003JC002260
      paper to cite (which documents a strong ocean warming in the 1990s), but 
      ignores the more recent paper
      Lyman, J. M., J. K. Willis, and G. C. Johnson (2006), Recent cooling of 
      upper ocean, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L18604, 
      which reports on significant recent ocean cooling!
      The authors cannot be faulted for bolstering the case for their perspective 
      of climate change, but by ignoring peer reviewed literature that provides 
      another perspective, they are grossly misleading the public and policymakers on 
      our actual understanding of the climate system. As a former Co-Chief Editor of 
      the Journal of Atmospheric Science, the former Chief Editor of the Monthly 
      Review, and Chief Editor of the U.S. National Report to International Union of 
      Geodesy and Geophysics 1991-1994. such a paper would not have been accepted in 
      the form as submitted until they, at the very least, address these other issues.
      Sonya mail to: <msredsonya@...>
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